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Get Cheffed in Scottsdale, Arizona

Wine Me, Dine Me at SWB

Have you ever wanted to hang out with a chef for an evening, drinking wine (or tequila) while enjoying insanely fresh food that's cooked right in front of you? Me too - it's actually my definition of a perfect evening.

Chef Juan's team at Wine Me, Dine MeChef Juan's team at Wine Me, Dine MeAt SWB, a southwest-style bistro within the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale, "Wine Me, Dine Me" is a nightly event with sittings at 6 and 8 pm. On a recent trip to Phoenix, my lover and I reserved an 8 pm spot and lingered late into the night with Chef Juan and his staff, each of them preparing a different course for us.

Belly up to the show kitchen

Our reservations at SMB gave us front row seats to the action. We sat in highboy chairs, overlooking a kitchen that serves hundreds of people daily. It was like arriving for a hands-on cooking lesson - only we drank and ate while the chefs worked. In all honestly, the evening felt like a seduction of the palate but also for our nose, eyes, ears, hands and mind. Each chef was responsible for a different course, creating unique, unexpected pairings of flavors.

the lovely Michellethe lovely MichelleIf you go, be prepared: while dinner simmers and jaw dropping aromas waft around you, adjust the straps on your stilettos, sit back and raise your glass. Chef Juan begins the experience with a lesson in tequila. I poised my pen, the travel writer in me ready to record every morsel of information. "Put your pen down and drink your tequila," I was told. This tasting was meant to loosen our grip and lighten our minds for an evening of relaxing banter and great food. Lesson learned.

While we whiled away the hours, a live band played behind us on an open air patio. Relaxation was an easy goal to meet.

Our "Wine me, Dine me" experience

Every "Wine me, Dine me" meal is unique because the chefs recreate it nightly based on seasonal ingredients and preferences of the diners. Because I'm vegetarian but my partner's not, we presented a challenge - one they easily overcame.

1st course ~ street tacos with tequila, prepared by Brian

Tempura battered nopalesBrian's Tempura battered nopalesJulia: Tempura-battered nopales (made from the prickly pear cactus) with chipotle lime cream and pineapple jalapeno jam. Yum!

Stacy: Roasted lamb street tacos with chipotle lime cream and pineapple jalapeno jam.

2nd course ~ mixed green salad with a sauvignon blanc, prepared by Andy

Andy's mixed green saladAndy's mixed green saladJulia & Stacy: Strawberries, manchego, cheese, pineapple, tomatillo, mint and beet chips.

The beet chips were made from very thinly sliced beets roasted slowly for an hour. The end result had the texture of a baked potato chip - but much sweeter. Great alternative to croutons.

Chef Juan prepares a Portobello mushroom creationChef Juan prepares a Portobello mushroom creation

3rd course ~ the mains with a pinot noir, prepared by Chef Juan

Julia: Grilled portabella mushroom and eggplant napoleon with poblano chili, braised red cabbage, ancho cream, prickly pear syrup.

Stacy: Filet mignon with braised red cabbage, prickly pear syrup, sweet potato salad and jalapeno pistachio butter.

4th course - dessert prepared by Jose & David

Jose and David's delicious dessertJose and David's delicious dessertI don't usually save room for dessert when I'm Wining and Dining my way through such an extraordinary meal. But I managed to find room for a happy ending and I'm glad I did. Imagine banana peanut butter cake, butterscotch sauces, dulce de leche ice cream, smoked cedar salt and caramelized bananas....

Ready to dine the night away in Phoenix, Arizona? Begin your journey at the Scottsdale Hyatt Regency, where they serve margaritas while check in. From there, book your spa treatments at the Spa Avania and then your Wine Me, Dine Me evening at SWB.

And then enjoy!

Have you visited the Scottsdale Hyatt Regency? I'd love hear what you loved best. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook - and let's continue the conversation!

To comply with the long list of regulating bodies, possibly even Geneva Conventions and in the interest of transparency, our trip to Phoenix was sponsored (in part) by the Phoenix Visitor and Convention Bureau. Commentary and perspectives are those of GoGirlfriend.

 

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