DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Luci’s Healthy Marketplace is thrilled to present the EatTable DrinkBar Cooking Series: Tastes of Italy with Chef James Monaci.
This series of classes will introduce you to the secrets of making fine Italian foods. From appetizers like soups, salads and cheeses to amazing main course pizzas and pasta dishes, come learn authentic cooking techniques while enjoying fine Italian wine along the way! For more information and to sign up, visit www.lucishealthymarketplace.com.
ITALIAN COOKING CLASS SCHEDULE:
*All classes will be accompanied by wine
• PASTA AND SAINT VALENTINE’S: February 13, 2014
Join Chef Monaci in making fresh pasta of Spaghetti, Fettuccine and Papardelle with enticing sauces from scratch to orchestrate the flavors, textures and colors.
·SALADS FOR ALL FOUR SEASONS: April 6, 2014
Garden Seedless Watermelon & Arugula, Red Onion, Ricotta Salata and Glazed Walnuts served with a Pomegranate and Balsamic Vinaigrette and three more surprising seasonal salads.
• CULURGIONES…WHAT ARE THEY? A SARDNGA SECRET TRANSLATED AS “LITTLE BUNDLES” June 8, 2014, Sunday
The Culurgione is a filled hand-made pasta, from Sardinia, Italy, much like the traditional Ravioli. And…of course a couple of enticing sauces from scratch to compliment the Culurgione and Wine.
• SOUPS TO CALM YOUR PALATE: August 17, 2014
Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup with a medley of mushrooms and two more calm your palate soups.
• SERVING UP THE ULTIMATE PIE: October 5, 2014
Making gourmet pizza from scratch, along with several delicious pizza sauce recipes, and topping off with a wide variety of ingredients.
• THE ART OF CHEESE MAKING: December 7, 2014
An Introduction to Latticini—the family of fresh-milk products that are Mozzarella, Burrata, and Ricotta.
Six Cooking Class Package $199.99
Since 1974, Changing Hands Bookstore has been a Tempe institution, offering not only books, but author events, writing workshops and a commitment to engaging with the community. In spring 2014, Phoenix will be lucky enough to have its very own, brand new Changing Hands location.
How is it that in a time when bookstores are more likely to close their doors than open new ones, an indie store is actually expanding? Simply put: the community asked for it.
According to Cindy Dach, co-owner and general manager of Changing Hands and an advocate for the development of downtown Phoenix and the Roosevelt Row Arts District, customers had been asking for a more central location for years.
And for years, Changing Hands searched for that perfect location. “It’s a tough business, it’s not a highly profitable business, so we needed all the pieces to come together to where we felt we could serve the community in the way they wanted to be served,” says Dach.
The store was dedicated to making it happen, but that determination extended far beyond their own efforts, particularly when it came down to the hard details of funding the new project. The customers, who had clamored for a new location, had also asked how they could help make it happen. This neighborhood favorite needed more than just the encouragement of their patrons, but their financial help as well.
“Loans have high interest rates. Loans have a lot of ties. And we did take out loans for the store, but we also wanted an opportunity for customers to feel like they helped build this bookstore,” say Dach.
When Changing Hands launched an Indiegogo campaign to cover some of the costs, over 1100 people contributed, raising more than $91,000 in a single month. In return, they got to choose from a variety of literary-themed t-shirts, note cards and experiences designed especially for the campaign. But most importantly, they and the rest of the valley will get the added value of the new bookstore they wanted for their community.
Dach and her staff have been awed and overwhelmed by the support. “Forget the dollar amount, that number is really just – 1100 people helped build this bookstore.”
The new Changing Hands will be housed in The Newton, an adaptive reuse project in the former location of Beefeaters restaurant at 3rd Avenue and Camelback in the Uptown district. The Newton will also house a restaurant called Southern Rail (by the owners of Beckett’s Table) and a co-working space.
The new location will take the strength of its Tempe store and tailor it to the culture of central Phoenix. “It’s going to be the urban version of (the Tempe) store,” says Dach. It will inhabit a smaller space and have an inventory that reflects the needs of its patrons.
“The community will tell us what it wants there. The market will decide, so with time, it’s gonna be our recommendations and what that community wants from that store.”
Aesthetically, the Phoenix store will have a different feel from its sister location, with the bones of the original building informing the new space. The design concept is being led by Phoenix architect, Christoph Kaiser, whose work can been found in other downtown spots like Postino Central, Kitchen Sink Studios and homes in the Garfield District.
Another addition in the Phoenix location will be a beer, wine and coffee bar called First Draft Book Bar.
Ultimately, the new Changing Hands will provide a place for the Phoenix community to gather, but in a way that is uniquely its own. Says Dach, ultimately, “the community will shape how that bookstore will look and feel.”
Photos by Andrew Pielage. Courtesy of Changing Hands.
Here at DPJ, we’re all about sharing what we love. Beyond the stories that make us love downtown, we often come across things that catch our eye, tingle our senses or have us dancing in delight. “We Like…” turns a brief spotlight on the little treasures that make our day, with helpful links so you can share in the fun.
When I was young I thought that artists were born fully formed and able to accomplish amazing work right out of the gate. Later I came to recognize that what makes an artist truly great is all of the time spent learning technique, honing their craft, refining their vision, solving problems, and growing into their talent. Recently I stumbled across an example of that kind of evolution in the work of a remarkable local artist, Jordan Alexander Thomas.
I first came across his delicious robot constructions at Made art boutique a few years ago. I don’t really care one way or another about robots, but these charmed me immediately. Not only were they imaginative, cheerful and affordable, they also had magical little “secret compartments” built into their bodies. I am a sucker for a box, and the hidden boxes in these robot bodies had me leaping for joy.
Flash forward a couple of years to just a week or so ago, when I wandered into Practical Art one afternoon with a friend and discovered an entire exhibition of Thomas’s newest robots. In just a few short years his constructions have evolved from charming, slightly rough-hewn curiosities, to gorgeously wrought works of art. I kid you not, they are absolutely beautiful.
So, quick like a bunny, before the show comes down, trundle yourself off to Practical Art and spend a little time marveling at these fabulous constructions. They’d make a perfect gift, especially if you tuck a little surprise into the secret compartment. For those of you who don’t want to commit to a larger piece, Thomas has created smaller scale “busts,” as well as some sweet and wearable pins.
Jordan Alexander Thomas bills himself as a robot artist, which might lead some people to overlook his work. Don’t make that mistake. He has created unique, exquisite, finely detailed sculptures that just happen to be robots. When you slow down enough to look closely, you will be amazed and delighted. Your mind will be blown and Santa may just have to bring me one for Christmas!
At last! Today was the day we got official word on the mysterious goings-on at the old Beef Eaters building at 3rd Ave. and Camelback Road.
Rumors have abounded and well over 100 people, including families from the neighborhood, business people, bankers, builders and just plain folks, gathered at 10 a.m. this morning to celebrate the plans to revitalize the site. The excitement was palpable on everyone’s smiling faces.
From 1961 through 2006, Beef Eaters was a central gathering place for Phoenicians to share meals, celebrate special events, and craft the business deals that shaped our Valley. When owner Jay Newton died in 2006, the restaurant shut its doors and the building sat empty. Now adaptive reuse developers Venue Projects have stepped up with a remarkable vision to bring the site back to life.
Central Phoenix-based Venue Projects principle Lorenzo Perez told the crowd of Venue’s dedication to finding and adapting buildings with history, a story to tell, and a strong sense of place. Jon Kitchell, another principle with Venue added, “We’re salvage hounds and love finding materials worthy of putting back into place, like black leather booths and the Queen Creek adobe bricks of this place.”
Working with John Douglas Architects, they’ll be uncovering the bones of the building and incorporating the treasures they discover back into the new uses for the site.
“Jay Newton’s Beef Eaters legacy will continue with a new interpretation of his iconic gathering place,” said Kitchell. To honor the past, the new complex will be called The Newton.
The Newton is co-owned by Venue Projects and two of the three businesses that will comprise the site. Co-owners include the nationally renowned, independent, community-based bookstore, Changing Hands, which will open its second Valley location at the site; and Justin and Michelle Beckett, current owners of Beckett’s Table, who will open a new neighborhood restaurant concept at The Newton. The third occupant will be The Lively Hood, a co-working space for creative professionals. Construction has begun and the goal is to reopen on November 1.
These three businesses will continue Jay Newton’s Beef Eaters legacy. Located just across the street from the light rail station, the bookstore, restaurant and co-working space will be active community gathering spaces that energize the neighborhood and encourage people to work together.
Shannon Scutari of Sustainable Communities Collaborative summed up the thrill experienced by everyone gathered when she referenced an old African proverb. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others. This place,” said Scutari, “is going to be about going it with others.”
Local Fave: St. Francis
Owner: Aaron and David Chamberlin
Opened: September 2009
The Concept: An “Urban Neighborhood Restaurant.” That straightforward notion is prominently featured on the outside of this mid-century former office building turned loft-style eatery. At the helm is chef-owner Aaron Chamberlin, who has an impressive resume working under Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Nancy Oakes of Boulevard in San Francisco. Since day one, St. Francis has strived to serve the best, local seasonal ingredients in modern (but recognizable) cuisine. Family owned, they strive to keep their staff educated and efficient while warm and welcoming to anyone who dines there.
Have a Seat: Upon entering St. Francis, you are greeted with a “Pow!” at the door by the adorable chef caricature that comes from one of Chef Chamberlin’s cookbooks. The hip, sleek interior and exterior designed by Wendell Burnette Architects showcases original brick walls and beamed ceilings. Beautiful bistro style tables and bar stools fill the dining area facing your choice of artwork, the semi-open kitchen, the patio, or bar. The bar is an indoor/outdoor spot with a garage style door that lets the warm AZ sunshine in. Large swivel glass doors open the dining room to a shaded patio, complete with heaters and a fireplace. You can also enjoy dinner, a drink or even a movie as it projects onto the patio wall. A beautiful mural decorates the upstairs wall along the mezzanine, providing eclectic scenery for the diners as they overlook the dining areas below. Two local artists, DOSE and Hector Ruiz, collaborated with Chamberlin to transform that space and give it some unique character. You can also find their artwork at Bentley Gallery and the Heard Museum.
The Eats: Though most of the menu is inspired by Chamberlin, day to day operations and execution are overseen by Executive Chef Chris Barch (promoted in March 2012). Many have raved about the St. Francis staples like the Pork Chile Verde or Baked Goat Cheese appetizer but there are many enticing things on the menu. Some probably won’t ever go away, but new items get added for the regulars to try. One new addition is the The Pig Dip sandwich on the lunch menu: wood roasted pork loin, prosciutto, bacon, caramelized onion, and gruyere cheese on a house baguette. The ingredients are layered neatly and in perfect proportion. A surprise house-made mustard cuts all the richness and brightens it up. This sandwich is accompanied by a dipping jus but it’s so delicious it really doesn’t need it (however it provides a nice dip to soften the crunchy bread). If you’re looking for some lighter fare, try the Farm Salad that is packed with healthy, local veggies like white beans, pickled onion, fennel, kale, and baby carrots dressed in a sauvingnon blanc vinaigrette. It’s beautiful, balanced, and filling – all the qualities of a great salad. Proof that Chamberlin is keeping careful track of seasonal ingredients, a market list blackboard is adorned with the growing seasons of respective fruits, veggies, and meats/seafood along with approximate months/time frames. See for yourself that what you are eating is truly the freshest you can get.
FUN FACT: The custom wood fired oven was designed to provide a focal point in the restaurant as well as being the heart for many menu items. Almost every dish has some element coming from the mesquite and almond wood burning machine, designed using a 19th century bread-making blueprint. This has to be why St. Francis’s San Francisco style homemade (almost daily) sourdough bread is so delish (take one home for only $3)!
The Drinks: HAPPY HOUR IS OFFERED EVERYDAY from 3-6! This is great not only for those looking to take a load off after work but also for local food industry people looking for a good deal on any given day of the week. Specialty cocktails are $5, and made with fresh squeezed juice, fresh fruit mixes, and homemade house syrups. Have a simpler palette? Get your well drinks, beer, and wine (by the glass) at half off. Aside from happy hour, their regular drink list offers a variety of quality wine and beer at reasonable prices. All are hand selected to complement the current menu and you can find some AZ wine and beer in the mix as well. Also, enjoy the lush Cartel coffee after a meal or during your morning brunch offered on weekends.
Report: With so many offerings, from brunch to happy hour to dinner, it would be difficult to leave St. Francis unsatisfied. The focus on a variety of locally driven food in a comforting, neighborhood, home-away-from-home concept invites people to re-visit Chamberlin’s restaurant over and over again – each time with the possibility of a different experience. Even the kiddos can enjoy quality, tasty food FOR FREE. There are always fun things happening there (including live music for Sunday brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) so check the website often for details on the changing, seasonal menus and events.
And stay tuned – as Chamberlin’s second restaurant is scheduled to open in the former Urban Grocery & Wine Bar space (14 E. Pierce St.) in April 2013!