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  • Writer's pictureDiana Brandt

Event: Arizona Farm & Food Festival

Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA) and Casino Del Sol are putting the finishing touches on preparations for the brand new Arizona Farm & Food Festival, which will open it's gates to hundreds of attendees on November 10, 2018 at the Casino's AVA Amphitheater.

The inaugural event is a fresh, new culinary affair in Southern Arizona, with the Casino's Executive Chef, Ryan Clark leading the vision. The Arizona Farm & Food Festival is a family-friendly event that partners a regional purveyor with a local chef, and tasks them with creating a unique menu to share with attendees. Event highlights will include live cooking demonstrations, food samplings, Heirloom Farmer's Market "Taste the Market" tent, children's activities, cultural entertainment and opportunities to meet and interact with the chefs and producers. Local spirits purveyors will be prominent at the festival in the interactive wine and beer tent.

Libations from the region's breweries and distilleries will be offered, along with guided tasting tours for the over 21 crowd. Live entertainment and interactive arts experiences will be on tap throughout the day, featuring: the Blues, Americana, Alt-Country act, Kevin Pakulis and His Band; and the Begaye Trio, contributing Navajo music, dancing, and painting. Additional experiences will include acoustic guitar performances, a live painter and activities provided by the Pascua Yaqui Tribe-Department of Language and Culture, and the Tucson Quilt Project. The festival will feature an impressive 35+ stations, serving a variety of creative samples for attendees.


Chef Ryan Clark is a force in the culinary world and has been increasingly in demand nationally and internationally for his talents as chef, teacher, and restaurant consultant. His passion for farm to table cuisine has been an ongoing focus of his career, and the event is an opportunity to share that passion on a large scale. "This festival is unlike any event that we have in the region," said Clark. "Each station will be a unique opportunity for guests to interact with the chef preparing the dish, the farmer that produced the food and the brewer or distiller of the paired beverage, all served in one bite. The Arizona Farm & Food Festival is about providing a food-experience that facilitates building relationships and strengthening our community in an impactful way." Chef Ryan is currently the executive chef of Casino Del Sol where he oversees all culinary operations for the Forbes Four Star award-winning casino resort.

The Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA) produces several culinary festivals throughout the year that highlight the region's vibrant culinary arts scene. This inaugural event represents a new partnership and a new model for the nonprofit organization, creating fresh avenues for integrating arts experiences that capture the spirit of the event. "The Arizona Farm & Food Festival is an investment in the sustainability of Arizona's cultural food heritage and connecting chefs and restaurants with local food producers supports preservation of our culture," said Kate Marquez, SAACA Executive Director. "Arts and culture provide foundational contributions to communities’ well-being. By supporting and developing innovative arts programming, we help create communities capable of positive, diverse and equitable public dialogue and action."


Tickets for the Arizona Farm & Food Festival are $35 for General Admission, which includes access to the AVA Amphitheater for the Arizona Food & Farm Festival, live cooking demos, activities, entertainment and menu samples. Second-tier tickets are $50 and include all General Admission benefits, as well as 10 wine, beer and spirits samplings for those over 21 only. Tickets are on sale now at

AZ Farm & Food Festival When: Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 at 11:30 AM - 3 :00 PM Where: Casino Del Sol’s AVA Amphitheater, 5655 W Valencia Rd, Tucson, AZ 85757 Tickets: $35 General Admission, $50 Upgraded Ticket with Alcohol Samplings Phone: 520-797-3959 x 105

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