Guest Chef – Crème & Chocolats

Confectioner (n:) a person who makes or sells candies and, sometimes, ice cream, cakes, etc.

We just wrapped up our fourth filming in our Guest Chef series with Boyd Harrington. It has been so much fun, and a huge learning experience for us. Being a consumer, most don’t realize the work that goes on behind the scenes and how much training and preparation is involved in bringing the product to the customer. We just finished filming at Crème & Chocolats where we learned how to make the perfect chocolate dipped ice cream cone, and also crêpes. We found that swirling the perfect cone was actually harder than making the perfect crêpe. Don’t be fooled though, both take a lot of practice to perfect! We had a great time filming here!

Aurélie and Jean came to Arizona with the dream to share their favorite treats. They are inspired by their French background to know good chocolate, rich desserts, and exquisite pastries. Crème & Chocolats gives you more than a variety of tasty treats, they give you a cozy ambiance to indulge in them. They use a 10% butterfat recipe which is higher than a soft serve (2-5%) which what makes their soft serve creamier and smoother, and you can choose from 9 varieties of flavor-infused Belgian chocolate to dip your cone into. Aside from running their bistro, they are also the parents of 3 young little boys and married for more than 10 years.

Wei Better Orange Chicken

Pei Wei (n:) Asian culinary tradition by wok-searing premium ingredients in portions that satisfy.

Just when you think Orange Chicken can’t get any better, IT DOES! This classic Asian dish is a family favorite across America and Pei Wei is turning it up a notch.

Pei Wei has defined what it means to serve fresh Asian Cuisine. Their fresh, never frozen chicken that is hand cut in-house by professional Chefs, sautéed in a 650˚ wok with fresh orange slices defines the epitome of what Wei Better Orange Chicken is all about.

{{ “Move over, Panda. Wei Better Orange Chicken is here!” }}

On Thursday March 29th we were able to attend an exclusive family-style dinner hosted by Pei Wei’s Director of Culinary Innovation, Chef J., to sample their newest delectable dish and other menu favorites.

🍊 Orange Chicken Dish: Chef J. and his team prepared Wei Better Orange Chicken in many different variations which included: The Original Orange Chicken, Orange Shrimp, Orange Flank Steak, Orange Tofu and Orange Vegetarian. Any of these dishes can be served with white rice, brown rice, vegetables, lettuce cups, quinoa, noodles and mixed greens.

E&K Favorites: The Original Wei Better Orange Chicken

Website: https://www.peiwei.com

Address: All Locations

Vienna Beef 125th Anniversary Celebration

Vienna Beef 125th Anniversary Celebration

On Saturday, February 3, we attended the 125th anniversary celebration of Vienna Beef’s Hot Dog Pop Up Party. The event was held at Helio Basin Brewing Co. in Phoenix, and was hosted by AZ Foodie. We had an amazing time visiting this brewery for the first time and being surrounded by great company. We hung out with old friends, and met some new friends as well. The atmosphere was very cozy and inviting for friends to sit together, chat, eat, drink, and enjoy each other’s company.

We tried a variety of dishes prepared by Executive Chef Tamara, which were all inspired by Vienna Beef. From the quesadilla with jalapeños, chicharrones, duckfat beans, polish sausage with cheddar, cashew rice, veggie burgoo, mini bagel dogs, hatch chile cream cheese, and much more. We also tried a blackberry wheat beer which was crisp and refreshing.

Aside from all the great food, there was also some entertaining live music. We thoroughly enjoyed listening to the guitar and saxophone, and the amazing singing. There was also liquor sampling from Pure Peru and the sample we tried was so delicious.

We had a blast playing the games that were set up outside on the patio. We challenged each other in corn hole, life size Connect Four and Jenga. We’ll say that neither of us lost any of the games. 😉 We had a great time and laughed so much.

We had the pleasure of meeting Katie Dennis who is the Director of Retail Marketing for Vienna Beef. She gave us some history about the evolution of Vienna beef and how it came to be in the Southwest! 🙂 We also got a fun goodie bag filled with all the ingredients necessary to make a genuine Chicago dog!

What is a Chicago-style hot dog? It’s an all-beef hot dog topped with yellow mustard, bright green sweet relish, chopped white onions, juicy tomato slices, a crisp dill pickle spear, sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt…all nestled into a steamed poppy seed bun.

Fun Facts about Vienna Beef: Born in 1893, they have become Chicago’s and the Midwest’s first choice hot dog. They are an independent, family owned company. They are more than just a hot dog company, they also sell soups, cheese sauce, pickles, and deli meats. Many of Chi town residents are now refugees of the Valley. Did you know the Valley is the second highest metropolitan area Chicagoans reside?

E&K Favorites: Blackberry Wheat Beer and the hatch chile cream cheese

Website: http://www.heliobasinbrewing.com/   http://www.viennabeef.com/

Address: 3935 E. Thomas Road Phoenix, AZ 85018

Brunching in Arizona

 

Brunch (n:)  a socially acceptable reason for day drinking

Just when you get in the groove of the whole “New Years resolutions” thing someone mentions brunch and you throw that resolutions right out the window!

Sonata’s Restaurant in Scottsdale has got their Brunch game on fleek.

    {{ Brunch isn’t brunch unless you can “cheers to the freaking weekend” }}

🥂Signature drinks; The Breakfast Spritzer, aka, Mimosas 2.0 – grapefruit juice, rosemary infused tequila topped with champagne. Or their Grand Marnier and Kahlua coffee topped with macerated berries and Chantilly cream. As well as the classic Bloody Mary.

         {{ And it is totally acceptable to have sweets because we say so }}

🌰 Sweet brunch options; cinnamon roll with Applewood bacon, duck fat glaze and shaved chocolate and Stuffed French Toast with Stone Fruit and candied brandy butter. (FUN FACT: Stone Fruit is a fruit with flesh or pulp enclosing a stone, such as a peach, plum, or cherry.)

       {{ To make it a proper Brunch it must include an egg of sorts }}

🍳Savory options; Lil Piggy Omelette with pork belly, potatoes, guacamole, salsa verde, crème fraiche, arugula sad. The Sonata’s Egg Benedict with prosciutto, spinach, brioche, truffle hollandaise, breakfast potatoes, arugula salad.

                              {{ Desserts cause why not }}

🍫Desserts; Warm Chocolate Cake with spicy chocolate sauce, candied walnuts and caramel ice cream. Spurgos – Mini Beignets – Lithuanian mini doughnuts, vanilla pastry cream, hazelnut chocolate and strawberry marmalade.

We truly enjoyed our visit there, the patio was absolutely stunning and of course the Arizona winter weather did not disappoint! Where did you Brunch this weekend?

E&K Favorites: Lil Piggy Omelette

Website: http://www.sonatasrestaurant.com

Address: 10050 N Scottsdale Rd #127, Scottsdale, AZ 85253

SodaRush

On January 18th, 2018 we attended Media Night with other bloggers and influencers at the brand new SodaRush in Gilbert. From sodas to cookies to ice-cream, we were able to sample everything on the menu and interact with other colleagues.

Jim and Amber (owners) are some of the nicest people you will meet. Right when you walk in you’re treated with sweet smells from their bakery and super friendly team members. The shop is colorful and inviting, and their branding is so eye catching. The décor in their shop is adorable and a great place to hand out with friends.

If you’re looking for a large variety of fancy fountain drinks and some of the most delicious, made from scratch daily, giant cookies you’ll ever eat (they’re award winning!!) this is the place to be!

P.S. They also feature Dole Whip occasionally (it’s always available on their soda truck!), so be sure to follow them on social media to see when it’s available. They also have cotton candy, pretzels, and feature seasonal fudge and cookies of the month.

E&K Favorites: The Miguel drink and the Sugar Smash cookie.

Website: www.sodarush.com

Address: 1522 S Gilbert Rd Suite 107 Gilbert, AZ 85296