District American Kitchen & Wine Bar
Tasked with the role of creating an ensemble comprised of at least 40 percent chocolate for a live fashion show, District American Kitchen & Wine Bar chef Winnona Herr did not take her role as fashion designer lightly.
“It’s a chocolate fashion show,” she stated. “So, it’s way more, probably closer to 80 percent chocolate,” Herr described of her steampunk-inspired look she designed for the Haute Chocolate fashion show that took place at the Heard Museum on January 31.
Weighing at least 40 pounds, Herr decked her model from head-to-toe, as the outfit included a chocolate corset, a skirt of modeling chocolate, and wings constructed out of a light balsa wood and then coated in chocolate. Herr sewed each leaf of the skirt by hand onto the model (all were local students) in the hour leading up to the show. Since chocolate melts at body temperature, the ultimate challenge was not leaving the model covered in a sweet brown mess. Wearing a simple leotard as a barrier, the rest of the outfit was a confection out of every chocolate lover’s dream.
Considering Herr had never created “wearable fashion” before—she is a pastry chef at District—her outfit stood out for its ingenuity. “I had the idea over the holidays and in early January, but only made it in the past two weeks,” she said of her intricate creation all made in-house at District. The detailing—which included gears, gadgets, grommets and buttons—“took lots of late nights.”
Chocolate’s natural dark colors, as well as the associated coppery tones, all played well with inspiration stemming from the renewed interest in Steampunk,. They also shared a Gothic/Renaissance vibe, and the always-relevant Wild Wild West, for a fashion that lent itself not only to the runway, but to the tasting table as well.
The “chocolate” hats that garnished the table were paper hats covered in chocolate and then painted with an edible powder and alcohol to look like paint, show the attention to detail the team at District put into the event, and the chocolate treats that attendees dined on throughout the night.
Chocolate vendors from around the Valley shared their sweets, with many toffees, cookies and bite-size chocolates sampled throughout the night. including food-truck favorite Paletas Betty and her Mexican Hot Chocolate flavored frozen treat. Pistol Whipped shared a variety of cupcakes, and sells their gluten-free pastries at Kaleidoscope Juice in CityScape.
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SHERATON PHOENIX DOWNTOWN HOTEL CELEBRATES LOCAL ART
Experience the exciting art and culture of downtown Phoenix and stay the night
Every first Friday of each month from 6 to 10 p.m., take a self-guided tour of downtown Phoenix galleries, studios and art spaces during a reoccurring event called “First Fridays.” First Fridays is promoted by Artlink Phoenix, a local, nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing together artists, the public, and businesses for a greater understanding, appreciation, and promotion of the arts and the development of a strong and vital downtown Phoenix arts community. First Fridays offers a variety of artistic things to see, hear and experience.
Additionally, the hotel and its restaurant, District American Kitchen and Wine Bar, feature an array of art throughout. District American Kitchen and Wine Bar embraces downtown Phoenix’s inherent energy and many local talents. Those who come to dine, or simply enjoy the atmosphere, are immersed in Phoenix’s art scene where local DJs and artists are featured on a rotating basis. The restaurant currently features installed work from well-known local artists Joshua Dean Wiley, Pablo Luna, Lalo Cota and Thomas “Breeze” Marcus, all who are active in supporting public art and/or the growing mural projects throughout the area.
Take time to explore the creative boutiques, vendors and festivities of First Fridays and stay downtown with this exclusive Art Package:
• Rates from $99
• Complimentary overnight self-parking
• Two cocktails at District American Kitchen and Wine Bar during happy hour or reverse happy hour
• Artlink Phoenix map of local galleries upon check-in
This package is based on availability for stays every First Friday through December 2014. To reserve your stay, call (866) 716-8134 and mentioned rate plan LUPKG1 or book online at: www.sheratonphoenixdowntown.com/art.
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Fifth Annual Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition Celebrates Phoenix Cocktail Culture & Friendly Competition At Crescent Ballroom, Sunday, February 9th, 2:00 PM
On the judging panel, we will feature last year’s winner, Kyle Landry of Shady’s Fine Ales and Cocktails, Layla Linn from the Arizona chapter of the U.S. Bartending Guild, and seasoned mixologist, Jason Asher. Attendees who sample each cocktail may cast their vote as well, which will factor into the contestants’ overall scores. The winner will gain bragging rights for a year and receive two tickets to the Devoured Food + Wine Classic (March 1 and 2, 2014).
Tickets are $20 and, in addition to admission, include one sample of each beverage crafted—seven samples total. The event will feature three live acoustic music sets, and two energy-infused rounds of high-stakes mixology, emceed by the Arizona Republic’s Megan Finnerty. The Crescent Ballroom bar and restaurant will remain open for business during the event, and we strongly encourage patrons to support their local venue. T-shirts, sponsored by Brand X T-Shirts, will also be available to purchase this year for $10 each.
For the first time, word of mouth interest drove more bartenders to us to compete than there was space. This year, we held our first round of eliminations via social media and had fans vote for their favorite bartenders during the month of December. By December 31st, fans had selected seven bartenders from some of Phoenix’s finest cocktail establishments, including Manny Pena of Windsor, Evan Gibbs of Maizie’s Cafe, Matt Tobey of District American Kitchen and Wine Bar, Zachariah Gillespie of Phoenix Public Market Cafe, Joshua James of The Clever Koi, Michael Allmandinger of Parlor Pizzeria, and Ryan Richardson and Kazimierz World Wine Bar. All seven are ready to get up on stage and shake their finest creations.
Tickets: $20 via Crescent Ballroom
The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel is amping up its wine program with the launch of two initiatives aimed at visitors and downtown regulars alike.
The new Sheraton Social Hour takes place from 5 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday in the Park Lounge Lobby and offers guests a comparative tasting of two wines highly rated by Wine Spectator. For $5 you get two 2-oz. pours of wines of the same varietal (i.e. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc vs. a Sauvignon Blanc from Washington), and the wines available will change weekly.
Additionally, the Sheraton is introducing its Sheraton Selects menu of premium wines by the glass. All wines in the program have been rated 85 or higher by Wine Spectator with at least four coming in at 90 or greater.
The spacious Park Lounge Lobby features plenty of comfortable seating and the bar along the wall has three televisions tuned to a variety of sporting events. District American Kitchen and Wine Bar offers selections such as Schreiner’s Bacon Wrapped Dates, Baked Macaroni and Cheese and their All American Burger in the Lounge, so there’s plenty to attract those hoping to stick around Downtown and avoid the rush hour traffic.
If you go
What: Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel’s new Sheraton Social Hour
Where: 340 N. 3rd St. (3rd St. & Van Buren)
When: Monday-Thursday, 5 to 6 p.m.
Parking: Free parking in Sheraton self-parking garage off of 3rd St. with District American Kitchen and Wine Bar validation.
‘Tis the season to discover holiday lights and displays at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. Gather your friends, family, and neighbors to see a winter wonderland of festive decorations and enjoy great food this holiday season. The hotel features a large Christmas tree trimmed with ornaments and lights, and a gingerbread house village creatively decorated and displayed inside the hotel’s Park Lounge lobby. Additionally, the District American Kitchen & Wine Bar will be serving up delicious holiday cuisine.
“It’s wonderful to see so many friends and families spending time together as they savor the fine food our chefs cook up and admire the holiday décor,“ said General Manager Leo Percopo. “Guests will be mesmerized by the large Christmas tree adorned with red and gold ornaments and sparkling lights that serve as the centerpiece of the hotel’s Park Lounge. There’s even a custom-built train set that meanders through an intricately designed holiday village of gingerbread houses. With faux snow, bridges, tunnels, and a train depot, you’re instantly transported to nostalgic childhood memories.”
In the spirit of the season, the District American Kitchen & Wine Bar has passed along a couple of their delicious holiday cocktail recipes. We may not get snow in Phoenix, but we can savor our own kind of White Christmas in cocktail form. Enjoy!
• 4 oz eggnog (eggnog can be purchased or homemade)
• ½ oz white chocolate liqueur
• 1 oz Southern Comfort
• Edible gold or chocolate flakes for decoration
1. Mix liquid ingredients together in a shaker.
2. Pour and serve in a snifter.
3. Sprinkle top with edible gold or chocolate flakes.
Christmas Dream cocktail
• 1 oz amaretto
• 1 oz heavy cream
• 1 oz vodka
• Sprinkle of nutmeg
1. Mix all liquid ingredients with ice in a shaker.
3. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
4. Add a sprinkle of nutmeg to the top.
Santa’s Little Helper Muddled Drink
• 12 cranberries
• Half a lime, quartered
• 1 small piece of fresh ginger
• 1 tsp. superfine sugar
• 1½ oz gin
• ¾ oz Cointreau
• ¾ oz cranberry juice
1. Place cranberries, limes, fresh ginger, and superfine sugar into a mixing glass and muddle.
2. Add remaining ingredients, fill with ice, and shake.
3. Pour contents (including ice) into a tall glass.
Everything Nice Cocktail
• Cinnamon and sugar to rim the glass
• 2 oz spiced vodka
• 2 oz fresh sweetened lime juice (1:1 parts fresh lime juice and simple syrup)
1. Mix spiced vodka and sweetened lime juice over ice in a shaker.
2. Shake well.
3. Pour into a cinnamon and sugar rimmed martini glass.
If You Go
For restaurant reservations, call (602) 817-5400 or visit www.districtrestaurant.com.
Stay the night at Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel with holiday rates starting from $99. To book, visit sheratonphoenixdowntown.com/phoenix-hotel-deals or call (800) 325-3535 and mention rate code HOL11.