This past weekend was the Chipotle Cultivate Festival here in Phoenix, and we had the privilege to work alongside one of the featured partners for the event, IZZE. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the event, the Cultivate Festival brings in some great musicians and mixes that in with some top notch cooking presentations by some of the world’s best chefs. (Do names like Aaron Sanchez and Amanda Freitag ring a bell?) It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday in Phoenix. We had just gotten back from our San Francisco trip, so it was nice to get thrown back into town in the best way possible. Our friend Cheyanne met us at the event and we had a blast wandering all over the festival grounds. We ate some tacos, took a ton of photos, and danced a bit in between. It was an absolute pleasure to get to hang with the lovely ladies from the IZZE team who kept us from ever feeling thirsty with some of our favorite IZZE flavors.
Being out of town the last week or so, it was great to be there with friends, and also run into some local business owners from the Phoenix community. Our friend Allison from Teaspressa was there with her team, with smiles on all day and full of energy! It was really great to see a festival with such big partners, supporting local businesses.
The highlight of the event for us was getting a chance to chat with local chef, Chris Bianco, who creates something so very meaningful to our hearts and bellies…PIZZA! Chris Bianco is also a former New Yorker who made his way to Phoenix in the late 80s and has a few restaurants around town that (if you’ve seen our Instagram or Snapchat) you’ve probably seen us at MANY times. He shared some stories about how he got his start in the restaurant business and what’s important to him when bringing on staff. When asking him about his cooking philosophy, he replied with another question and asked us, “What makes good music?” It felt a little out of left field at first, but he went on to explain that in order to recognize good music, you have to learn how to play, learn how to listen. It’s the same thing with cooking…”If you want to learn how to cook, learn how to eat.” He couldn’t stress enough the importance of learning where your food is coming from, especially with the growing transparency within the world today. It was a pleasure getting to hear about how he started cooking at a young age, being surrounded by creative and supportive parents, who pushed him to ask questions in a time where most were encouraged to just listen. What he has us really excited about is his new restaurant, Tratto, that is set to open this week. His father, who is a portrait painter, created the artwork which will be hanging in his new pasta-driven restaurant. Although Bianco said he “never set out to make art”, we think other restaurant goers would agree that what he is creating in his kitchen each day is truly something special and not easy to come by.
This was our first local festival in Arizona and we can’t wait to do it all over again next year!
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