Photo courtesy of Waste Not
WASTE NOT: A COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP
Photo by Modern Vision Media
NEW IN TOWN: CHARACTER Character opened in downtown Phoenix in November with distinctive fine dining, inventive cocktails and an impressive team behind the concept. The owners are Peter Kasperski, an established leader in the Arizona restaurant scene known for opening Cowboy Ciao and Kazimierz in Scottsdale, and Richie Moe, one of the city’s top mixologists. Chef Justin “Red” Hauska has worked at high-end Valley restaurants, including Binkley’s and Kai at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass. “Chef Red creates quintessential modern American cuisine with various influences,” Kasperski said. “He respects the history of fine dining but likes to experiment with different techniques. He wants every plate to be simple yet spectacular with different flavors and textures, highlighting seasonal ingredients.” Character’s menu includes charred octopus with chorizo, venison with squash, lamb with smoky eggplant and an incredible croissant bread pudding from Country Velador of Super Chunk Sweets & Treats in Scottsdale, who formerly worked with Kasperski. Cocktail concoctions include Spot O’ Tea, Guvnor with gin, English Breakfast tea and lemon oil, and the Foam Fashioned with bourbon and orange curaçao. Kasperski is excited about the restaurant, which is in a 1920s house with a large patio. “It’s great to see downtown growing and be a part of that energy,” he said. There are big plans for Alias, the bar located behind the restaurant, with a menu featuring approachable molecular mixology and gastronomy. The restaurant has also hosted sommelier showdown wine-pairing dinners. With 40 years of restaurant experience, Kasperski is passionate about the business. “We are in the entertainment industry,” he said. “We are here to create memorable experiences for our guests.” For more information, visit characterphx.com.
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Waste Not’s mission “ WE’RE PROUD to reduce food waste TO BE A VALUED and deliver food to COMMUNITY those in need takes RESOURCE THAT several dedicated FOOD BUSINESSES volunteers and CAN RELY ON.” generous community partners, corporations and foundations. The organization was founded 30 years ago, and in 2020, Waste Not diverted more than 3 million meals from landfills and delivered them directly to people in need. “We’re proud to be a valued community resource that food businesses can rely on to reduce food waste and feed the one in six Arizonans who experience food insecurity,” said executive director Kate Thoene. Waste Not’s team of professional and volunteer drivers collects fresh food daily and delivers it to more than 65 Valley nonprofits that provide critical community services, including homeless shelters, transitional housing, senior facilities, preschools, after-school programs, rehabilitation centers and food pantries for distribution to the people who need it. Waste Not partners with more than 70 food businesses, including grocery stores, catering companies, event venues, resorts and restaurants, including Starbucks, QuikTrip, Sprinkles Cupcakes and many more. “Restaurants and other food businesses can play an important role in contributing to our community’s most basic needs and your neighbors need food now more than ever,” Thoene said. Learn more at wastenotaz.org.
Photo courtesy of Waste Not
Shoshana Leon | CONTRIBUTING WRITER