By Alison Bailin Batz

Now in its 13th year, Phoenix Cooks has cemented itself as one of the signature culinary events of the summer. Hosted by iHeartMedia, the foodie event brings together chefs from more than 50 Arizona restaurants and resorts, as well as nearly 100 beer, wine and spirit brands for a day of sipping, savoring and supporting a great cause.

This year, Phoenix Cooks is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, September 2, at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale and will benefit Special Olympics Arizona.

“Special Olympics Arizona provides every person with intellectual disabilities a place of welcome, acceptance and the chance to be their best,” says Kelly Manders of iHeartMedia. “The practices learned in Special Olympics Arizona also impact their life skills. Sports training enhances focus and gives participants a structure for learning important lessons about perseverance, endurance and setting goals”

According to Manders, SOAZ empowers more than 180,000 individuals with intellectual disabilities across Arizona. Phoenix Cooks, has raised more than $390,000 for local charities since its inception in 2004.

During the event, guests can expect small bites from popular local eateries including Match, Deseo, North Italia, Tanzy Restaurant and The Greene House as well as sips from Hensley and Breakthru Beverage Arizona, the latter of which is one of the state’s largest distributors of wine, spirits and nonalcoholic beverages. Several chefs will also take part in a friendly competition throughout the day akin to Iron Chefwhen they will be tasked with preparing a dish using a mystery ingredient in front of a live audience.

“We will also be handing over the stage to several famed local chefs and beverage partners – one every half hour, in fact – to allow them to give interactive cooking demonstrations, cocktail pairing advice and even pull guests on stage to cook with them throughout the day,” Manders says.

General admission tickets, which are $85 in advance and $100 at the door, include all food, wine, beer, spirit samplings and stage demonstrations. There is also a “designated driver” ticket available for $60, which is limited to food and non-alcoholic sampling.

Phoenix Cooks, Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, 6902 E. Greenway Parkway, Scottsdale, phoenixcooks.com, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, September 2, $60-$100.

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