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  • Writer's pictureDiana Brandt

James Beard Foundation’s Taste America® Phoenix

James Beard Foundation (JBF) has announced former Iron Chef challenger and celebrity Chopped judge Maneet Chauhan as the 2018 Taste America® Visiting All-Star in Phoenix. Chauhan will join Taste America Local All-Star Charleen Badman on Friday, September 28 in creating a one-of-a-kind dining experience as part of the Foundation’s national culinary series, which will bring dynamic culinary and educational opportunities to ten cities this fall.

Chef Chauhan is the founding partner and president of Morph Hospitality Group in Nashville, Tennessee, which includes restaurants Chauhan Ale & Masala House,Tànsuǒ and The Mockingbird. She is also the co-owner of Mantra Artisan Ales in Franklin, Tennessee. She is a recipient of the 2012 James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media Award for her role as a judge on Food Network’s Chopped and has also written her own cookbook, Flavors of My World. As a Taste America Visiting All-Star, Chauhan will travel to Phoenix to collaborate with Local All-Star Charleen Badman (FnB, Scottsdale, AZ) and Host Chef Charles Wiley (Mountain Shadows, Paradise Valley, AZ). Together, the trio will create a one-of-a-kind, three-course dinner that benefits the foundation on Friday, September 28 at Mountain Shadows.

The rest of Friday’s local chef lineup will be featured in the walk-around tasting reception before dinner and dessert reception afterward. They include: Scott Holmes (Little Miss BBQ, Phoenix), Chrysa Robertson (Rancho Pinot, Scottsdale, AZ), Doug Robson (Gallo Blanco, Otro Café, Phoenix), Samantha Sanz (Talavera at The Four Seasons Resort, Scottsdale, AZ), Martin Nakatsu (Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch, Scottsdale, AZ), Sarah Chisholm (Tempe Public Market, Tempe, AZ), and Helen Yung (Sweet Republic, Phoenix and Scottsdale).

On Saturday, September 29, free in-store consumer events will take place at Sur La Table® located at Scottsdale Fashion Square. Activities of the day will include cooking demonstrations by the Taste America Visiting All-Star and Local All-Star Charleen Badman, book signings, tastings from local producers and artisans, as well as product demos and tastings from artisanal vendors Cutino Sauce Co. and Sweet Dee’s and some of the program’s national sponsors. On display at the Sur La Table stores will also be JBF’s latest cookbook, Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food.

Reservations for the free cooking demos will begin two weeks prior to each event at

The weekend of culinary events will also include a welcome reception on Thursday, September 27 at Dominick’s Steakhouse, where guests will meet and greet the participating chefs while enjoying a delicious cocktail and tasting reception.

Visit for more details and ticket sales. Official hashtags for the event are #JBFTasteAmerica, #JBFTasteAmericaPHX and#JamesBeardFoundation.

The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America 2018 is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors and partners, including premier sponsors Deloitte, El Tesoro Tequila and Woodford Reserve; supporting sponsors Dinova, Gloria Ferrer, Ornua Foods North America, Robert Mondavi Winery, and Windstar Cruises; patron sponsor Choose Chicago; retail partner Sur La Table; and founding partner Bowen & Company. Additional support for Taste America 2018 has been provided by Chefwear and VerTerra Dinnerware. Local Partners include Dominick’s Steakhouse, Encore Event Technologies, Glass Vodka, Mercedes Benz of Scottsdale, Mountain Shadows, and Rose+Moser+Allyn Public and Online Relations.

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