I came here for a Local First AZ promoted dinner with the brew masters. I was surprised Helio Basin is taking residence in an old pool hall I used to hang and drink cheap bad beer at. It’s definitely great to see an upgrade in the beer being served at this location – lol. I had blast hearing the stories from the brew masters of how this place came about and how they make their beer. You can tell these guys know their stuff and are very passionate about serving a good beer. In fact their slogan is “Quality Crafted in Phx”. Not only do they serve good beer, but the food is phenomenon. Chef Tamara Stanger just recently won the Devoured Culinary Classic excellence award for her smoked bison taquito. About thirty of us were served a four course dinner with a beer paired with each dish. Their IPA and Blackberry Wheat are the big sellers. Both were very clean, crisp and delicious. But I think the Robust Porter was my favorite. It’s not too heavy and full of flavor (a nice blend of chocolate, caramel and coffee). My favorite courses were the Palo Verde Torte and the Blueberry Tamarind Pudding. Each dish was beautifully presented and had some sort of representation of Arizona in it. Hello Basin is a great addition to the Arcadia food scene and worth another stop. They have a great happy hour and I hear Taco Tuesdays is a must. Check them out!
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 Phoenix, Bite 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), and 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.
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.
- – from Joanie Simon
I met Joanie Simon at the Devoured Culinary Classic last year during a Restaurant Live Arizona presentation with Chef Justin Beckett. She has been posting recipes of some of her dishes she makes on her monthly email. This one looked really good. She cooked this Black-Eyed Pea soup in a pressure cooker. I don’t own one and made this in a pot instead. It was super delicious and a fun dish to make to start off 2016.
16 ounces black eyed peas, dried
1 yellow onion chopped
12 ounces chopped carrots
2 tsp Better Than Bouillon Chicken
¼ tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Lawry’s seasoned salt
1 Tbs Sriracha
1 tsp paprika
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs oil
8 cups water
12 ounces chopped Andouille sausage
3 cups chopped collard greens
Put dried black-eyed peas in a container and cover in water, 1 inch higher than the beans and allow to soak overnight.
The next day, drain the beans, rinse and place in the pot of an electric pressure cooker. Add in chopped onion, chopped carrots, bouillon, caraway, garlic powder, seasoned salt, Sriracha, paprika, balsamic vinegar, oil and water. Set pressure cooker at 6 minutes on high and allow to cook.
Once the 6 minutes is up on the cooker, release the pressure and add in the sausage and collard greens. Cover the pot again and pressure cook for 2 minutes on high.
Once cooking is completed, keep on warm until ready to serve. Add more salt to taste.
Serve with chopped scallions.