Devour Film Screening

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Devour week is the biggest week of the year for foodies living in Arizona. Throughout the week are events leading up to the big culinary classic. This event is in its second year of existence and was one that intrigued me. FilmBar hosted a movie screening by local filmmaker Andrew Gooi and presented by Food Talkies, Devour PhoenixBite and Local First Arizona. The movie is called Elements and it showcases six local chefs here in the Valley using elements from nature in their crafts. Chefs Brian Konefal of Coppa Cafe (Earth), Akos Szabo of Match Cuisine / FoundRE (Fire), Derrick Shields of The Farm at Agritopia (Air), Julie Meeker of Mother Bunch Brewing (Water), Jeff Kraus of Crepe Bar (Smoke), Ross Simon of Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour (Ice) were the featured chefs. Each installment was filmed individually and collected together for this movie. We got to listen to each chef talk about their craft and heard comments from director Andrew Gooi. We were also given a Bite Box to help enhance our senses for the film.

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Director Andrew Gooi

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Local Chefs featured in Elements

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Bite Box

Food Talkies also has a series of films on coffee cultures in different cities called Coffee Run. This is the one that showcases the growing coffee scene here in the Valley.

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The Force Awakens

D23 Expo’s “Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios” ended with Star Wars. On December 18, The Force Awakens comes out in theaters. This was the part I waited in line for so long for. My family grew up with Star Wars and now it has been fun seeing my kids and nephews embrace it as well. Director J.J. Abrams introduced the cast (Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong’o and Daisy Ridley) of the new movie. But the coolest part was seeing one of my favorite actors ever (Harrison Ford – Indy himself) on stage. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed experiencing this with my family.

  • photos below from various sources

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Bob Iger made a huge announcement about the future of Disney parks. He announced that they would be building Star Wars land at both Disney parks in Orlando and Anaheim. I’m excited for this and can’t wait to check it out.

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Afterwards we got an exclusive D23 Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster. This was such a cool experience and I even bumped into Darth Vader and a stormtrooper outside the convention center.

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Daisy Ridler shows off her poster on her Instagram account. My nephew Devyn got to meet her while walking around the Expo.

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CHEF Movie

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It’s been awhile since I’ve been this excited about a movie. But after seeing the trailer to Jon Favreau’s new movie CHEF, I was hooked on seeing it. One reason – food porn. I seriously was salivating as I saw the previews. Plus I was a cook for ten years in the restaurant business and I understand life in the kitchen. Cooking for me has always been both therapeutic and a passion. This is the story of Carl Casper, a cook in L.A. who is trying to rediscover his passion for cooking. He ends up going on road trip in a food truck with his son to get his passion to make amazing food back. The film ended up being a great movie and easily one of my favorite ones of the year. In addition to having a great cast, CHEF also has a great soundtrack. I ended up going with my favorite foodie friends that I love to eat out with. My friend Kim is a personal chef and my other friend Pete is (in my opinion) the top restaurant reviewer in Arizona. He and his wife Monica eat out at different restaurants all over the valley. We had a blast and I look forward to seeing it again!

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Ski Culture

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Tonight I took my kids to Ski Pro’s Avalanche Sale at Phoenix Civic Center to pick up some gear. It’s this big sale they have every year where you can pick up ski/snowboard gear for dirt cheap. I love ski culture! I started when I was in jr. high and I’m glad I got my kids started at a young age too. They love it and I can’t wait to get a few trips in with them this year.

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Our first snowboarding trip at Sunrise in ’07

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My son Ty – 6 years old on his first snowboarding adverture

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Ty hittin’ the powder

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Snowbowl ’08

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Jake tearing it up

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Me on my board

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Snowy day in Flagstaff – I love ski towns

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Took a day off to do some sledding – we love the snow!

I started skiing when I was around 12 years old. I was blessed to have a youth pastor that took us on trips to Flagstaff. My mom was always big on making sure I got to experience fun stuff like this at a young age. She would always encouraged me to go on these trips. Once I got in high school, my Pastor Linn Winters would rent these Greyhound buses to take us to Colorado or Utah for a 3 day ski adventure. My very first out-of-state trip was to Telluride, Colorado. They would show Warren Miller ski flicks to get us pumped up for some fresh powder. Even though I was a Freshman, I was happy to make friends with some of the older guys in the group (even tough I still went through a few initiations). My buddy Gary would join me on the trips and he and I would become die-hard ski partners for years all the way up to adulthood. About five years ago, I switched over to snowboarding and love that I can do both.

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Bus trip to Utah – 1989

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The crew – Utah ’89. Diggin’ the 80’s hair and outfits

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Skiing with my friends – I was 15 years old in this picture

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Typical skier’s room before a big day – Durango, CO in ’90. I’m eating the bowl of cereal on the right

As I got better at skiing, I started to get more flamboyant. I knew I was good and I liked to show off. I started spiking my hair, wearing bright colors and even tied red ribbon to my skis to make it look like flames were coming out. I would also started to get more risky. I would do more tricks and jumps and would ski in just t-shirts. I went though skis like crazy and even got kicked out once for jumping off a large hill. I dumped a lot of money into the sport and started to fly out-of-state a lot to places like Tahoe to ski with the big boys. After I had kids, my ski life died off for a while. My ex and I did some skiing together, but raising kids took up most of our time. Now I am excited to be at a new phase of life and to experience ski/snowboard life with my boys. Even though I’m not as risky as I used to be, I have really learned to appreciate the sport. I’m thankful for the opportunities all these years to have been a part of this culture of skiing.

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My flashy days – 1991 at Sunrise ski resort

Warren Miller is a filmmaker who has been making ski movies since 1950. He is very well-known to us in ski culture and I’ve seen many of his movies on my bus trips. Every year a new flick comes out and Warren Miller Entertainment does a movie tour just before ski season starts. They show it a ASU Gammage every December after the Avalanche sale. I went to quite a few shows in my college days and just recently started the tradition with my kids. We are going to see the newest film “Flow State” later this month. I’m excited to check it out and get pumped for ski season this year.

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Last year’s snowboard trip – I broke a rib on this trip

Neon Splash Dash

IMG_0908 IMG_0793A bunch of us ran in the Neon Splash Dash at Firebird Raceway. It’s a fun 5K race that is very similar to the Blue Man Group show in Vegas. You run through 4 different Glow Zones, where at each one you get sprayed with a different color of U.V. glow paint. Then there is an After Glow party afterwards where you glow with the backlight. They have live bands and continue to spray the crowd with paint as you dance the night away. I had a blast with my friends running the race and hanging out afterwards at the party.

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