Devoured is the Super Bowl of food festivals in Arizona according to chef de cuisine Joshua Johnson of Kai Restaurant. If you are a foodie who appreciates and loves original food art, along with seeing and potentially meeting the masterful chefs behind their culinary creations in action, then you’ll love rubbing shoulders with other passionate foodies and wine connoisseurs at the Devoured Culinary Classic, which only happens one weekend of the year and sells out well before the festival begins.
I was lucky to cover this event and offer my branding perspective on this unique culinary experience. Happy to report that it wasn’t one of my toughest jobs because Devoured Phoenix clearly demonstrates the top seven branding elements of a successful event:
- Originality - grass-roots, homemade-ness and quality artisanal ingredients
- Local stars – includes five James Beard-winning chefs, plus up-and-coming chefs
- Variety – diverse lineup of chefs and 75 restaurants represented over two days
- Surprise – a successful risk taker serving up the unfamiliar creates the most buzz
- Know your Audience – the crowd expects, embraces and celebrates the unexpected
- Consistency – dishes are all individually served with perfect presentation
Demonstrated by a quote from chef Conor Favre of Kai: “…We want to make sure people walk away happy, saying,
‘Wow, we just ate awesome food, just like always from Kai.’”
- Clarity of purpose – mission is to showcase the elite Valley chefs behind their unique & delicious culinary creations which is enjoyed by local foodies
Kai at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass only goes off-site once a year to participate in this annual festival and Kimber Lanning, director of Local First Arizona, states: “This is the most important thing we could do because it hits on all aspects of our mission.”
Source: Arizona Republic; full article here.
Wine Guy Video (18 seconds)
Foodie Gal Video (21 seconds)
Devoured must be onto something good as they were founded in 2009 and have been sold out for the last three years in a row. I loooove that the Phoenix Art Museum was transformed to accommodate this lively foodie crowd, and it was crowded… Who knows maybe there is a farm out there with lots of space that would like to host this event for 2014…just sayin’ that more people would love to devour this amazing culinary classic weekend!
Want more information or to continue the conversation?
You can still help our culinary community to be INDEPENDENTLY EDIBLE all year long!
Devour Phoenix is a city-wide coalition of select, independent restaurants whose mission is to:
• Maintain a forum for sharing ideas, purchasing power, and marketing dollars to advance dining in the Phoenix area
• Create an image for Phoenix as a respected destination for dining and culinary exploration
• Share resources to strengthen and grow restaurants in Phoenix
• Highlight and host events such as culinary festivals and restaurant crawls that will strengthen business and build awareness for all Phoenix restaurants
• Identify and encourage the use of local agriculture and local artisans as a means for increasing sustainability in the region
Source: Devour Phoenix on Facebook
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Devoured Culinary Classic 2013: Seftel’s medalists By Howard Seftel Republic restaurant critic