11 hours ago
Saturday, April 24, 2010
I snuck out for a few days last week for some desert sun and tequila tasting, but didn't tell anyone (except my husband), shhhh.
Arizona is my favorite winter/spring getaway. It's such a different vibe from NYC.
You can always depend on blue skies and hot sun with mountains everywhere you turn.
It's dependable like that.
You can also depend on some great food and terrific people.
Everyone says "good morning" (what a concept!).
The cashiers smile at you when bagging your groceries (you mean I don't have to bag them myself like I do in NJ?), and ask "how is your day going?", and actually seem to care about the answer.
Though New Yorkers are nicer than you think, we just don't have that laid back, take your time, have a nice day, the sun is shining attitude.
(But if you really needed a hand, there is no one like a New Yorker to give you GOOD directions though they might step over you in the street).
I stayed at the gorgeous Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain and had the opportunity to meet Iron Chef Beau MacMillan, the head chef of Elements Restaurant, where I had fabulous lunches and dinners and great cocktails with the best view in the valley.
A tequila tasting at the new Prado Restaurant at the Intercontinental Montelucia, where I tried every Reposado (rested), Anejo (aged), Blanco (white), and every other premium brand of the Blue Agave based plant Mexican liquor.
I LOVED IT ALL. Scary.
The restaurant prides itself on using local ingredients, and uses a "slow food movement" philosophy, with an Italian flare.
The chef told me they use local produce and Colorado beef and buy directly from Arizona organic farms.
Though the prosciutto was domestic, from Iowa, it was very close to the real thing.
On to the Share Our Strength Great American Bake Sale hosted by Arizona food bloggers Theresa from The Food Hunter, and Janet from Ladue & Crew.
S.O.S. is a national campaign raising money so no child in this country ever has to go hungry.
There were some gorgeous treats, my favorites being the Fleur de Sel sables and the pistachio cranberry biscotti. It was a successful event and great to meet new friends in the Valley of the Sun.