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Shop, Dine & Relax! NE CORNER, PINNACLE PEAK & PIMA From casual brick oven pizzas, fresh salads, great happy hour offerings, Asian cuisine to fine dining, La Mirada has great options for every taste! Stroll through La Mirada and enjoy a chic collection of boutiques and galleries as well as fitness, salon, nail and spa options, dentistry and vet services, tutoring, professional travel services and so much more!

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GREAT HAPPY HOUR! Beginning May 1st, our Happy Hour specials will be extended: Tues-Sun, from 5pm to close! Our happy hour menu is extensive and delicious!

Home & Personal Fashion

Adornments Baudine’s Mad About Shoes Cuddles by goochie goo garbs del Adora Fine Linens Desertique Boutique The Dress Essenza Boutique High Desert Rugs & Furnishings Sunny & Chair Zuva Gallery

Health, Wellness & Beauty

Pinnacle Fitness Pinnacle Peak Dental Care Premier Pilates & Fitness Roma Barber Shop Skin Enrichment Trucco & Cappelli Salon Suites The Hills Salon & Spa Walgreens

Services

Al Hamra Bodega 13 Jade Palace LAMP CAFÉ Lamp Wood Oven Pizza Mastro’s Steakhouse Pane e Vino Starbucks Coffee Co.

Bank of America Cameo Cleaners Data Doctors Farmer’s Insurance Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch Kolton Consulting Pima North Animal Hospital Russ Lyon Sotheby’s The UPS Store True Blue Life Insurance

Education

Specialty Retail

Dining

Kumon Math & Reading Premier Martial Arts

La Mirada

Clickchick Photography Hyde Park Interiors Parson Interior Design ProTravel International

8852 E. Pinnacle Peak Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85255 | LaMiradaCenter.com may 2017

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RANDY O'BRIEN CERAMICS

HE IS MARSHALL JACK LANGYELL

CHECK PLEASE! CHEF MARK TARBELL

By Tom Scanlon

By Kenneth LaFave

By Beth Duckett

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Cover photo by Loralei Lazurek

COMMUNITY EVENTS

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By Grace Hill

FERRARI FEVER

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By Beth Duckett

ITALIAN ANTIPASTO SKEWERS By Monica Longenbaker

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8912 Pinnacle Peak Road Suite F-7 Scottsdale, AZ 85255

480-659-2964 Fax 480-951-2454 cuddles@goochiegoo.com

(N E corner of Pinnacle Peak & Pima, Next door to Starbucks in the La Mirada Center)

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PUBLISHER Shelly Spence

EDITOR/CONTRIBUTING WRITER Jenn Korducki Krenn Amanda Christmann

ART DIRECTOR/PUBLISHER’S ASSISTANT Jennifer Satterlee

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Ana Petrovic

STAFF WRITER Grace Hill

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When we began printing Images Arizona 18 years ago, the Internet was new. Most people didn’t have computers, and most people relied on newspapers and nightly news to find out what was happening in the world around them. Today, that has all changed.

We are proud to say that our dedication to bringing heartening stories that cannot be found anywhere else has paid off. For nearly two decades, our local

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

professional writers and photographers have explored the human experience

Tom Scanlon Beth Duckett Monica Longenbaker Kenneth LaFave Gregory Granillo Shannon Severson Katherine Braden Lara Piu

and cultural events like no other publication in the area. They have taken great

PHOTOGRAPHERS

anecdotes, events and adventures of our thriving community. We are happy to

Bryan Black Loralei Lazurek Monica Longenbaker

share that we now offer subscriptions, and that, through them, hundreds of new readers only need go as far as their mailboxes each month to be tuned in to the

ADVERTISING SALES

As we continue to grow and change, we are excited to be able to keep you in

Loren Sheck 480-309-6410 loren@imagesaz.com

the loop through subscriptions to Images Arizona. For just $24 a year — $2 a

Images Arizona P.O. Box 1416 Carefree, AZ. 85377 623-341-8221 imagesarizona.com

pride in telling stories that introduce neighbors, share pride and sorrows, and inspire us all to connect so that our community can grow stronger roots. At a time when proper vetting, skillful writing and original photography seem to be lost arts, there is a growing demand for quality, distinct articles and images. Through the years, we have gotten requests for subscriptions from winter residents, visitors, and many others who didn’t want to miss out on the

heartbeat of our community.

month — you can keep in touch with what’s happening in your own back yard and learn about stories that, despite technology, can’t be found anywhere else. Simply visit us online at imagesarizona.com and click “Subscribe.” Even as we change and grow, we will continue our promise of quality and integrity, and to continue to be a proud community partner. On behalf of all of our writers, photographers and editors, thank you for making us a continuing part of your lives, and for supporting us through the years!

Submission of news for community section should be in to shelly@imagesaz.com by the 5th of the month prior to publication. Images Arizona is published by ImagesAZ Inc. Copyright © 2017 by ImagesAZ, Inc. All rights reserved.

Cheers!

Reproduction, in whole or part, without permission is prohibited. The publisher is not responsible for the return of unsolicited material.

Local First A R I Z O NA 6

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Shelly Spence Publisher, Images Arizona magazine shelly@imagesaz.com 623-341-8221


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RANDY O'BRIEN CERAMICS Writer Beth Duckett Photographer Wilson Graham

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Randy O’Brien’s journey from fledgling art student to acclaimed potter has led him to some very interesting places — and people. Before settling at his current home in the foothills of southern Arizona, O’Brien lived in California, where he studied under well-known ceramics artist Al Johnsen. He also launched a pottery studio in Alaska before experimenting with pottery glazes at a New York university, a process that led to the striking, one-of-a-kind glazed surfaces he is known for today. O’Brien says of his style, which resembles the mineral formations and lichens found in southern Arizona: “If anyone sees it, they know that’s my work.” With such a repertoire of places traveled, you might think O’Brien has taken the opportunity to also journey to art shows across the country. But the potter primarily sold through galleries for much of his career. It wasn’t until the recession that O’Brien began to explore the art world beyond his comfort zone. “For a large part of my life, I wanted to hole up in my studio and make pots,” the artist recalls. “I had about 24 galleries before the recession. It got down to six. I had to try and reinvent how I made a living.” Now, O’Brien shows at about a dozen fairs annually, gaining crucial feedback from collectors that he didn’t get previously. “It has been great for my growth,” he says. “It has been great to interact with people.” Additionally, O’Brien works with about a dozen galleries across the country, from California to Illinois. June Dale, owner of the Austin Presence gift shop in West Lake Hills, Texas owns several of O’Brien’s pieces, noting that they have a “mystery about them, because they look like they could come from outer space, under the sea or from a volcano.”

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There is not a day that goes by that someone doesn’t walk into the gallery and ask me, ‘How does he do that?'

colors combined with the deep texture always stirs the curiosity of collectors as they come through our door,” she says.

O’Brien’s work “combines brilliant color and amazing texture to create a piece that is both organic and otherworldly,” says Mesia Hachadorian of Tubac, Arizona-based Cobalt Fine Arts Gallery. “It is hard to have a Randy O’Brien piece in a room and not have it draw your eye,” Hachadorian notes. “There is not a day that goes by that someone doesn’t walk into the gallery and ask me, ‘How does he do that?’” Similarly, New Mexico artist Barbara Meikle, who represents O’Brien at her namesake fine art gallery in Santa Fe, says his pieces “add a delightful element” to any room. “His unique process has an organic quality that is hard to resist; the unusually bright

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O’Brien began his career as a young student at the University of California, Berkeley, enrolling there in the early 1980s after spending a year as a foreign exchange student in Malaysia. Of his travels abroad, O’Brien remarks: “I went into some pottery studios there. When I got back to the states, I went to school. At that point, I didn’t really consider making a living making pots. I just spent all the time I possibly could in the studio.” O’Brien left Berkeley and later attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he had access to a pottery studio 24 hours a day. Santa Cruz is also where he met late accomplished painter and potter from Gig Harbor, Washington, Al Johnsen, who hosted workshops there throughout the summer. After about three years, Johnsen hired O’Brien to work in his studio. “I made


some of his pots while he painted,” O’Brien says. “I did that for about a year.” With several years of schooling under his belt, O’Brien was experienced enough to take his career to the next step. He moved to Homer, a quaint tourist-friendly city in south-central Alaska, and pursued his dream of owning an art studio. “It took me six months,” the potter remarks. “I rented a studio I found it had been abandoned. It had all the equipment. I ended up in a number of different locations.”

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Nicknamed “the cosmic hamlet by the sea,” Homer is on the west side of the Kenai Peninsula on the shore of Kachemak Bay, which is home to a sprawling wilderness park. Naturally, O’Brien found inspiration for his work in the innate splendor of the area. He recalls the winters in Homer,

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which often lasted nine months or longer; icicles would form on the sides of cabins and expand until the temperature finally warmed up in the summer. Inspired by the aesthetics of his surroundings, O’Brien tried placing bits of glaze as an accent flowing down the sides of one of his pots. “I put on just enough so it wouldn’t hit the bottom,” he remarks. “It was a period of glaze experimentation for me, learning about glazes and coming up with a distinct body of work.” His experiments created a feedback loop and “in the end, what I came up with looked a lot like the landscape from Kachemak Bay,” he says. Later, O’Brien continued this experimentation as a student at Alfred University in New York, where he earned his bachelor of fine arts degree in 1996. There, he focused on specialeffect and low-fire glazes. Since he had earned a living as a potter, O’Brien was advanced compared to many of his classmates; the experience allowed him to focus solely on glaze experimentation and three-dimensional glaze surfaces, he says. “There were a lot of resources there,” O’Brien remembers. “I had MFA graduate students available to me. While I was there, I was able to take glaze chemistry classes in the ceramic engineering department. I would not have been able to do what I do now if I hadn’t gone to Alfred.” It would take the artist another five years to fully develop the body of work and style he is known for today. By 2001, his pieces were recognizable, though more earth-toned than his current style. “They remained earth toned for about 10 years,” he says. “I gradually started making them brighter, now I can make them as bright as I possibly can.” randyobrien.net

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COMMUNITY arts // announcements // culture Writer Grace Hill

MAY 3 JEWISH FEDERATION B&P HOSTS CORNER OFFICE Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix Business & Professionals Groups presents Corner Office: Lessons Learned from Jewish Business Leaders. Listen to panelists and enjoy a cocktail/ hors d’oeuvres reception. Registration required. Professionals $36; students $18. 5:30-8 p.m.

MAY 6

Phoenix Plaza, 2929 N. Central Ave., 480-481-1754, jewishphoenix.

SMOCA’S ANNUAL FUNDRAISING EVENT

org/corneroffice.

Scottsdale Museum of

MAY 4 SIPS AND SOUNDS PRESENTS ROCK LOBSTER

MAY 5

SMoCA Mix: TECH Sublime. VIP champagne reception honors

band, will perform during the

THE ART OF FEARLESSLY DOING BUSINESS III

Sips and Sounds concert series

Celebrate entrepreneurs, business

Proceeds benefit SMoCA. VIP

at The SHOPS at Gainey Village.

networkers and art lovers. Event

Reception: 6-7 p.m. General:

Enjoy food and drinks from

includes artwork by Michelle

7-10 p.m. VIP: $250. General:

nearby restaurants. Free. 6-8 p.m.

Micalizzi. Reservations by May 3.

$175. Scottsdale Museum of

The SHOPS at Gainey Village,

Free. 6-9 p.m. Fearless Art Works

Contemporary Art, 7374 E.

8777-8989 N. Scottsdale Rd.,

at Spanish Village, 7211 E. Ho Rd.

Second St., 480-499-8587,

theshopsgaineyvillage.com.

#17, 480-526-2609, aofdb.com.

smoca.org.

Rock Lobster, an ’80s retro cover

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Contemporary Art presents

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SMoCA Emeritus advisory board member Dorothy Lincoln-Smith.


MAY 5-7 CINCO DE TREASURE FEST Magic Bird Festivals presents a Cinco de Mayo shopping extravaganza! 70 local artists and vendors will showcase boutique apparel, jewelry designs, original art, Native American crafts and more. Free. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cave Creek Roadhouse, 6900 E. Cave Creek Rd., 480-488-2014, carefreeazfestivals.com.

Photo courtesy Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art may 2017

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MAY 10

MAY 10

ARIZONA AUTHORS SHOWCASE

ARIZONA ARCHAEOLOGY SOCIETY MEETING

Join local authors Donna J.

Doug Gann, PhD presents

Grisanti, Eric Heisner, Dr. Tricia

“Traveling in Time and Space:

Pingel and Patricia L. Brooks as

The Interpretive Potential of

they discuss and sign their latest

Virtual Reality in Archaeology,”

books. Bring cash or check to

to discuss recent technological

purchase copies. Cake and tea

innovations and how they affect

reception included. Registration

the field of archaeology. Open

required. 10-11:30 a.m. Desert

to the public. Free. 7:30-9 p.m.

Foothills Library, 38443 N.

Refreshments at 7 p.m., Good

Schoolhouse Rd., 480-488-2286,

Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal

desertfoothillslibrary.org.

Church, 6502 E. Cave Creek Rd., azarchsoc.wildapricot.org/ DesertFoothills.

MAY 23JUNE 10 AN EVENING AT DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN Ballet Arizona’s artistic director Ib Andersen presents “Topia,” a performance of movement, sound and multimedia surrounded by the beauty of the botanical garden. A preshow dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets starting at $36. 8 p.m. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., 602-381-0188, balletaz.org.

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Events

Photo courtesy Ballet Arizona


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MAY 14 HYATT REGENCY’S MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH Enjoy live music and delicious

CONFERENCE CENTER

food like smoked salmon benedict, chilaquiles, mini

DINING

Indian Pine Restaurant is Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner 6am until 10pm, 7 Days a Week. We have a large Off Menu selections to satisfy any appetite.

HOTEL

You can expect to feel the outdoor ambiance when you step inside and check into one of the finest Hotels on the Mountain.

pastries, cherries jubilee and more. Includes a children’s

Accommodating over 700 people in theater style seating and 450 people for banquet style seating. Our rooms are available for a countless variety of occasions and events.

buffet. Adults $90; with champagne $100; children 6-12 $42.50; children 5 and under free. Excludes tax and gratuity. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa, 7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd., 480-444-1234, scottsdale. regency.hyatt.com.

MAY 18 NCA ARIZONA ANNUAL FUNDRAISER The National Concierge Association (NCA) Arizona Chapter’s fundraiser will benefit The Fetch Foundation and features appetizers, cash bar, silent auction, Chinese auction and balloon pop. $5 admission includes one Chinese auction

3 Miles South of Pinetop AZ

ticket. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Fleming’s

hon-dah.com 1.800.929.8744

Steakhouse, 6333 N. Scottsdale Rd., 480-636-0500, ncakey.org/ arizona-chapter.

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MAY 21 SCOTTSDALE PHILHARMONIC CONCERT Arizona’s premiere philharmonic presents music by composers Bach, Offenbach, Mendelssohn, Rossini, Suppé and Bruch. General admission: Free; VIP preferred seating: $15 donation. 4-6 p.m. Scottsdale Bible Church, 7601 E. Shea Blvd., 480-951-6077, scottsdalephilharmonic.com.

MAY 20 CANVAS AND COFFEE Join Sunny Hall, owner of Paint and Gogh, for a stepby-step guided acrylic painting class. Supplies provided. No experience necessary. Registration required. $40. 10 a.m. to noon. Holland Community Center, 34250 N. 60th St., Bldg. B, azfcf.org.

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Fine Art Photo courtesy Mike Benedetto


MAY 27 CAR CORRAL AND SWAP MEET Car Corral and Swap Meet provides a safe and friendly environment for buying and selling vehicles. Registration proceeds benefit Our Lady of Joy Preschool and other charities. To sell: $45; RV, boats and larger vehicles: $60. 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Our Lady of Joy Catholic Church, 36811 N. Pima Rd., 480-488-2229, carcorralscottsdale.com.

MAY 29JULY 14 REIGNING GRACE RANCH WILD AT HEART DAY CAMP Reigning Grace Ranch offers girls ages 8 to 15 horse care lessons, nature walks, arts and crafts, and much more! Leadership, teambuilding and communication skills taught while building self-esteem. 5 sessions available. $500 per session. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reigning Grace Ranch, 28614 N. 172nd St., 480-466-2154, azrgr.org/day-camp. may 2017

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DESERT FOOTHILLS LIBRARY PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST May 12 from 3-6 p.m. and May 13 from noon-4 p.m., Desert Foothills Library will accept photo submissions for their 2017 photography contest. The exhibition, located at the library, will be from July 3-21. Entry fee is $5 per image and paid by cash or check only. Free for youth ages 17 and under. Jerry Sieve, sieveimages@gmail.com, or desertfoothillslibrary.org.

Experience

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BUTTERFLY WONDERLAND’S RAINFOREST REPTILE EXHIBIT

DESERT FOOTHILLS LIBRARY SUMMER YOUTH EVENTS

Rainforest Reptiles, the newest

this summer! Younger kids will

exhibit at Butterfly Wonderland,

enjoy events like Story Kids,

opens Memorial Day Weekend.

Little Ones Lap-sit and Sensory

Guests will experience 12

Playdate. Older children can

large exhibits depicting the

register for events like Minute

natural environment of reptiles

to Win-It, American Girl Doll

and amphibians and hear

Crafts, Summer Lego Club and

natural rainforest sounds.

Arizona Critters Talk. Tween

Exhibit includes “Animal Talk”

and teen classes include Build-

presentations; animal feedings;

a-Better-World Clay Bowls,

trading cards; and more!

Tweens Cook, Mala Beads

Butterfly Wonderland, 9500 E.

and more. Classes begin early

Via de Ventura, 480-800-3000,

June. Registration required.

butterflywonderland.com.

desertfoothillslibrary.org.

The library is the place to be


NOTRE DAME PREP ART SHOWCASE Residents of Vi at Silverstone had the opportunity to judge high school artwork during the fifth annual Notre Dame Prep Art Showcase. Winners include: Jenna Mateo for photography; Gabi Johnson for drawing; Mallory Walker for painting; Tara Murnin for 3D art and design; Daniel Dougherty for 3D printing; Gianna Iorio for digital design; and Katie Bussoletti for ceramics. Tricia Loscher, Ph.D., chief curator at Western Spirit Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, was enlisted to judge “Best of Show.” She selected “In the Field” by Chereia Hoebing. Congratulations NDP winners!

CAVE CREEK RESIDENT PUBLISHES BOOK William (Bill) A. Faust Sr. published “A Singular Love,” a book he wrote to lovingly and humorously chronicle his 44year marriage to his wife, Pat. The book shares photographs, cards, notes and letters that the couple exchanged over four decades. It’s a beautiful story discussing courtship, marriage, children, family, friends and cats! Purchase on outskirtspress.com and amazon.com.

Photo courtesy Butterfly Wonderland may 2017

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Writer Lara Piu

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When my daughter was a wee one, my father would ritually take her outside, hold her high in his arms, and together they would point and yell, “Balloooooon!” as hot air balloons flew above my house. But you don’t have to be a child to appreciate hot air balloons. They tend to stir up the light side in anyone. Big, colorful and bright, hot air balloons rise above the fray and elevate us to a higher perspective. During Memorial Day weekend, you can get up close and personal with these monstrous marvels at the Cave Creek Balloon Festival. Presented by Tonto Bar and Grill and Aerial Solutions, the eighth annual event will be held at Rancho Mañana Golf Course’s driving range from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 27. At around 7:30 p.m., eight massive glowing balloons, some with one-of-a-kind shapes, will light up the Sonoran Desert

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sky in Cave Creek’s largest one-day event. It will also feature food trucks, live bands, and a fan-favorite fireworks show that will fill the sky with red, white and blue. Arrive early to settle in with your low-profile lawn chair in at the main stage lawn area for the Civil Air Patrol color guard presentation and a flyover by Deer Valley Composite Squadron 302. Madison Holmes, a local up-and-coming singer/songwriter will perform at 5:30 p.m., and later she’ll kick the evening off with her rendition of the national anthem. The Anglim Sisters and native Arizonan Harry Luge and his country band will perform on the main stage. A cross between the gritty nature of Travis Tritt with the soul of Waylon Jennings and powerhouse vocals of Pat Green, Harry has opened for well-known artists including Merle Haggard, Brad Paisley, Eric Church, Chris LeDoux,


EVENT TIMELINE 5:30 p.m. Gates open Live music by Madison Holmes from 5:30-6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. Arizona Wing Civil Air Patrol color guard presentation Flyover by Deer Valley Composite Squadron 302 National anthem performed by Madison Holmes 6:45 p.m. Live music from the Anglim Sisters 7:30 p.m. Balloons start to inflate, come to life and glow. Glow lasts for about 90 minutes 8 p.m. Harry Luge performs 9 p.m. Fireworks

Neal McCoy, Martina McBride, and Montgomery Gentry. A kids’ zone will feature free face painting and balloon twisting, and pay-to-play bouncy house inflatables. Food from local food trucks like Grilled Addiction, Wandering Donkey, Fry Bread Inc., Doughlicious Pizza, Cheese Love and Happiness, The Buffalo Chip, Firehouse Kettle Corn and Cotton Candy, Firehouse Shaved Ice, Affogato Coffee, and Frosted Frenzy Cupcakes will also be on hand. Beverages will include cocktails, wine and Four Peaks Brewery craft beer. cavecreekfestivals.com

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Writer Lara Piu

“IT’S A SMILE, IT’S A KISS, IT’S A SIP OF WINE … IT’S SUMMERTIME!” - KENNY CHESNEY, “SUMMERTIME”

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This summer, living is even more easy thanks to low-season restaurant specials. Normally these dining experiences cost a pretty penny, but in hot summer months, they can be had for a steal.

J & G Steakhouse J&G Steakhouse is perhaps the ultimate wining and dining experience. Its warm and soft contemporary dining room overlooking The Phoenician golf course and Camelback Mountain makes for the quintessential romantic sunset dinner. Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten prepared a steakhouse-classic menu that features premium meats, fresh seafood, worldly spices, local ingredients and global flavors. May 5 through September 14, J&G Steakhouse will offer a three-course dinner for $40, including a choice of endive and sugar snap pea salad, watermelon gazpacho or ravioli appetizer; salmon, chicken or flat iron steak entree; and strawberry meringue, chocolate cake, ice cream, or sorbet dessert. jgsteakhousescottsdale.com

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Roaring Fork Since 1997, Roaring Fork’s bold American cuisine has captivated the mouths of East Valley diners. Known for its hearty Old West flavors, the restaurant offers fresh meat and fish entrees prepared by wood fire rotisserie, open flame grill or wood oven roasting. Memorial Day, May 29 through Labor Day, September 4th, Roaring Fork will bring back its All Night, All Summer Happy Hour. Each Monday through Sunday, 4 p.m. through close, the restaurant will offer happy hour-style prices on at least 10 menu items in the bar and saloon. You’ll find items like iceberg BLT for $6; rotisserie chicken flatbread with basil pesto, roasted chiles, pepper jack cheese and tomatoes for $8; and grilled fish tacos served on corn tortillas with guacamole, corn pico, remoulade and salsa verde for $10 during this summer special. roaringfork.com

Afternoon Tea There are several Valley destinations for traditional English tea service, and among the best is Afternoon Tea at The Phoenician. Served on fine linens, china and silver, this relaxing afternoon dining experience includes a lavish, house-made spread of delicate finger sandwiches, fresh scones with Devonshire cream, lemon curd and fruit preserves, pastries, and its pièce de résistance: an impressive fine tea selection. Normally $42, tea service at The Phoenician will be $30 from May 5 through September 14 this summer. thephoenician.com/lobby-tea-court

Relish Burger Bistro Perched atop The Phoenician’s golf course is Relish Burger Bistro where you can enjoy incredible views and a classic meal. Burgers are at the heart of this menu, and in-step with the resort’s high-quality style, every one is hand crafted with 100 percent Kobe style Wagyu. There are also appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, entrées, desserts, gluten-free and vegetarian options, a full bar that claims to feature the largest tequila selection in Arizona, and a vodka-spiked milkshake. May 5 through September 14, Relish Burger Bistro will offer a gourmet burger and a churro ice cream sandwich with salted caramel ice cream for $20. thephoenician.com/relish-burger-bistro may 2017

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Writer Tom Scanlon Photographer Bryan Black

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The idea of a football game — and just about any honest coach will confide this — is to dominate the opponent. You want to impose your will, showing your opponent a speedy route to the cold, hard turf. You want your rivals to limp back to the sideline as you dance in the end zone. Win big, if you can, but even if it takes a Clemson-in-the-college-playoffs or Patriotsin-the-Super-Bowl thrilling score in the final seconds, make sure you come out ahead in the end so that, when the clock ticks down to 0:0, you get to enjoy the chest bumps and man-hugs and Gatorade showers while your whipped opponents hang their heads on that long, shamed trudge back to the losers’ locker room.

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Oh, yes, football is all about winning at all costs. Except during one magical season when the scoreboard didn’t matter for little Marshall University in West Virginia. This was 1971, the season after a plane crash that killed nearly the entire team, plus the coaches, boosters and others connected with the program. In the 2006 production “We Are Marshall,” a rising star named Matthew McConaughey played Jack Lengyel, who was hired not only to coach the team, but also to resurrect the program. In the movie, McConaughey-as-Lengyel philosophizes about the thousands of times he has heard, and preached, “Winning is everything,” the phrase that fuels football. “And then I came here. For the first time in my life, maybe

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for the first time in the history of sports, suddenly, it’s just not true anymore. At least not here, not now. It doesn’t matter if we win or if we lose. It’s not even about how we play the game. What matters is that we play the game. That we take the field, that we suit up on Saturdays, and we keep this program alive.” The real Jack Lengyel says that wasn’t some Hollywood fancy speech; he really said that, or at least something very close. “It really wasn’t about winning,” he said, looking back at that challenging season, 46 years distant. “It was about getting a team together to begin the process of rebuilding. We realized we were going to have to do things differently. We were going to have to change the way we coach.”


With an inexperienced squad of freshmen, transfers, volunteers from other sports, and a few surviving members who were not on the plane, Lengyel’s team somehow won Marshall’s first home game after the crash — and the homecoming game. But the 1971 team lost the other eight of its 10 games, with five shutouts and a string of lopsided losses. And yet, it was a resoundingly victorious season. In a Sept. 7, 1971 letter to Coach Lengyel, his staff and the team, then-President Richard Nixon summed up the feelings of many: “The 1970 varsity players could have little greater tribute paid to their memory than the determination to field a team this year. Friends across the land will be rooting for you, but whatever the season brings, you have already won your greatest victory by putting the 1971 varsity squad on the field.” Lengyel had been a coach at the College of Wooster, 230 miles north of Marshall University, when he learned of the tragic plane crash. Wooster had just finished one of its most successful seasons. “I was home with my family,” Lengyel recalled, “watching a television show, and a crawl came across ‘Marshall University football team perished in a crash.’” He didn’t think of contacting the school right away, until a few months passed, and he heard Marshall was having trouble filling the position.

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“They offered the job to a coach at Penn State but he turned it down. Another coach took the job and resigned. I got to thinking, ‘Maybe I can help.’ I called down there, and they invited me down.” Over the years, he’s been asked many times why he took the toughest job imaginable. Why leave a successful run

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as a young coach at Wooster, where he had an impressive 24-12 record in four years, to tackle the unknown? “There’s an old Chinese proverb,” Lengyel will tell you, with a twinkle in his eye. “If you’re ever given something of value, you have a moral obligation to pass it on to others.” So it was that Lengyel passed on to the young players all the football knowledge and worldview he had gathered. Though his record was an unspectacular 9-33, in his four years at Marshall he helped save a program that would become a powerhouse in the 1990s. A few years later, in the spirit of his “Charlie’s Angels,” director McG (Joseph McGinty Nichol) directed a script based on what could be called “Jack’s Angels.” “We Are Marshall” opened Christmas week, 2006. Reviews were mixed, ranging from “thrilling and wrenching” to “misbegotten tribute”; it turned a slim profit, grossing $43 million at the box office. Though there were a few Hollywood touches in the script, Lengyel said the producers “did a good job” telling the story, and he still watches his copy, once or twice a year. The energetic performance by McConaughey, who had just been named People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive,” is

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central to the movie. Though the facts are in place, Lengyel has a hard time seeing himself in the movie. A chat he had with the star during the production helped explain the curious circumstance of watching someone play him — or perhaps an alternate-universe version of him. “People say to me, ‘He doesn’t have your mannerisms, at


all,’” Lengyel said, with a chuckle. “Well, I remember walking back off the field one night during the filming with Matthew. He put his arm around me and said, ‘My dad was a football coach...’ So he had some feel for coaches. He did his research and read about me, but he said, ‘I didn’t try to mimic you. I took the material and put it inside myself.’ “I said, ‘I’m glad you told me that, because I was never that frickin’ animated on the sidelines!’” Sitting at the dining room table of his Sun City Grand home, Lengyel breaks into a wide grin when an F-35 military plane roars overhead. “The sound of freedom,” said Lengyel. He is quite familiar with the roar of military planes, as he was athletic director at the United States Naval Academy from 1988 to 2001. In the big picture, Lengyel’s four-year stint at Marshall was just a slice of a long career as a football coach and athletic director. His home is filled with photos and mementoes documenting his two legacies, professional and personal. After moving 24 times in his coast-to-coast career, he and Sandy, his wife of 60 years, settled in Arizona a dozen years ago to help her arthritis. They enjoy visits with their three children, sons David and Peter, daughter Julie Logan, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren. Retired as a coach/administrator, the 82-year-old Jack Lengyel serves on several football boards, chairing the Divisional Hall of Fame Board at the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. In general, he remains enthusiastically active in the sport that has had him captivated for decades.

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As the movie coach stated and the real Lengyel confirmed, coaching at a school rising out of deep sorrow taught him that winning at Marshall wasn’t the most important issue. Well, let’s take it a step further. Why, Jack Lengyel, does football matter at all? Why should thousands of college kids who have no hope of playing professionally waste their time running around, slamming into each other when they could be studying? Jack Lengyel has thought about this, and he is convinced that his favorite sport is a worthy endeavor — and then some. “Football’s a game that enhances so many of the characteristics you need to be successful in life,” Lengyel said with the patience of a coach explaining a play to a freshman quarterback. “You develop character, perseverance, respect and teamwork. You learn lessons, even from losing. “… Football provides one of the best lessons in athletics and life: to face adversity, get back up off the ground and go on to success.” One thing the ol’ coach treasures is hearing from former players, especially when they say, “You know, now that I have kids of my own, I get what you used to tell me!” Just an example, Jack Lengyel says, of the life lessons hiding inside the country’s most popular sport. “It’s a game that teaches you to be selfless,” said this leathery football man. “There are things you can’t learn in the classroom, born out of camaraderie, and those are friends who become lifetime friends. “These are lessons that are valuable in the business, in the community and in life.” There are only three words to add to that: We Are Marshall.

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Writer Lara Piu Photographer Jesse Kitt

Enjoy

Lizz Wright Musical Instrument Museum 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix Monday, May 1 7 p.m. $48.50 - $63.50 mimmusictheater.themim.org

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“I see myself much like a painter,” jazz artist Lizz Wright says about her work in a recent documentary. Her premiere composition and first album, “Salt,” soared to the number two spot on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz list. Tommy LiPuma, the man behind the award-winning work of artists like George Benson, Diana Krall, and Natalie Cole, produced the album. Since then, Lizz released another four acclaimed albums: “Dreaming Wide Awake,” “The Orchard,” “Fellowship,” and “Freedom and Surrender.” They’re the stories of her life, she explains. “If you look at the records I’ve made and really take them apart as elements, you start to think about the things that must have come together to create these things,” she explains. “I’ve arrived at a certain kind of eclecticism, which is actually just an honest picture of what my life is like and what my imagination is like.” The artist now performs on the other side of several challenges: divorce, creative struggles, and feeling off-track. Then she nearly died in a car accident on an icecoated mountain road. “The heavy car floated silently toward a 75-foot ravine that ended with a wide band of a frozen creek,” Lizz recalls in a recent artist statement. “‘Ok,’ was the only thing I could get out in a sigh. I was stopped by a young bellwood tree that grew out of the bank like a hook. I slowed my breathing and meditated in suspension. About 20 minutes later, a young neighbor pulled the door open, reaching in with a strong arm to guide my climb out. Now when I sing the chorus, I see the gracious hole and the sweet sapling that grows over it. It threw me back, a fish returned to the river with a cut lip.” The delicate pink flowers of the tree that saved her remind her of that day. “They were strong enough to save me. In surrender I experience freedom,” she explains. “The gift of an end is a beginning. I greet the sun with the only reason I've ever needed: ‘Why not?’” Her experiences inspired the songs she will sing in May, many coming from her latest album, “Freedom & Surrender,” often considered her sexiest, most sensual album yet. She wrote 10 of its 15 songs, six with Grammy Award-winning producer, bassist and songwriter Larry Klein and his longtime songwriting partner David Batteau. The trio wrote songs like the rocky, country-bluesy “The New Game,” “Here and Now,” inspired in part by the passing of Maya Angelou, and a tender ballad called “Blessed the Brave.” Lizz will perform at MIM Monday, May 1 at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $48.50 - $63.50 and can be purchased on the MIM website. The music theater will host an additional four jazz artists in May: Anat Cohen & Trio Brasileiro on May 7, the John Pizzarelli Trio on May 12, René Marie on May 17, and Lisa Fischer on May 25.

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Writer Kenneth LaFave Photographer Tim Fuller

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It’s been David Ira Goldstein’s “Long Goodbye.” Four years ago, Goldstein announced his retirement from the position he’d taken up in 1992: Artistic director of Arizona Theatre Company, the state’s only fully professional theater organization. But circumstances, including some dicey financial moments, meant that hiring a new artistic director was out of the question. So Goldstein stayed on – one short stretch after another. “The board would come to me and say, ‘Will you stay another six months?’ ‘Can you plan another season?’” he recalls. And so he stayed another six months and planned another season, repeating at length until at last, this month, the 64-year-old director will actually step down from the job he has held now for exactly half the 50 years of ATC’s existence. He will leave in typical Goldstein style: With a stylish world premiere. “The thing I’m proudest of in my years with ATC is that, in the 25 years before I came, they’d done only one world premiere. Since then, we’ve done one almost every season.” The playwrights have been many, but Goldstein cultivated a special relationship with two of them: Steven Dietz (“Inventing Van Gogh”) and Jeffrey Hatcher (“Jekyll and Hyde”). For Goldstein’s swan song as ATC artistic director, Hatcher, who has frequently explored the character of Sherlock Holmes both in plays (“Sherlock Holmes” and “The Suicide Club,” premiered by ATC) and on film (“Mr. Holmes,” starring Ian McKellen), wrote a new Holmes mysterywith-a-twist, “Holmes and Watson.”

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Experience Holmes and Watson

Herberger Theater Center 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix May 11–28 Tickets $25-$50 arizonatheatre.org

Having a long-term relationship with a playwright over the years is one of the richest things that can happen to a director and a theater company.

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“Having a long-term relationship with a playwright over the years is one of the richest things that can happen to a director and a theater company. It’s like a conductor having a special relationship with a composer. You feel you’re closest to the artistic start, the initial artistic impulse, when you work with the playwright,” Goldstein says. The idea behind Holmes and Watson swaps the usual roles of the world’s first consulting detective and his amanuensis. Holmes, reported dead in the fabled confrontation with Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls, reappears three years afterward — in triplicate. Three people claiming to be Holmes confront Watson, who must himself apply keen observation and logic to determine which one is the real genius of Baker Street. The show plays ATC’s main venue, the Herberger Theatre Center, May 11 – May 28. For ticket info, go to arizonatheatre.org. Though he is leaving the post of artistic director and all the headaches of financial juggling that go with it, Goldstein will not be leaving the Valley. He and his wife, KJZZ-FM broadcaster Michele Robins, plan to remain in their home in Phoenix’s Windsor Square neighborhood, “except for summers,” Goldstein adds eagerly, when they will reside in a recently purchased getaway on the Oregon coast. Goldstein even wrote himself into the ATC 2017-18 season as a guest director, staging a new version of “The Diary of Anne Frank.” Look for more “guest appearances” over the coming years. He will also be guest-directing for regional theaters around the country. One thing Goldstein says he will definitely not miss about the job is the constant commute between Phoenix and Tucson. ATC serves both cities, and the drive back and forth is draining. By the director’s estimate, his miles between the two cities in the quarter-century he’s been making the commute are “the equivalent of having driven 19 times around the world.” What was the best thing about the job? “Because ATC presents a variety of theater, I could go from staging a serious drama to a musical to a mystery or comedy. I never got boxed in.” Who could possibly replace him? “You will know by the time this story is published,” he says. “And I am very, very happy with the choice.” arizonatheatre.org may 2017

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Writer Shannon Severson Photographer Bryan Black/Michael McKee Gallery

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Inside Michael McKee’s Fountain Hills studio, classical music is playing and the red oak or birch boards he uses as his canvases are stacked several deep around the room. In one corner stands his pastel work station, as it is the medium he used for the first 15 or so years of his 16-year career as a full-time fine artist. A few steps away, his most recent abstract work in oil sits on a large easel with palates of mixed colors, wide-handled flat brushes, wedges, and angled painting knives at the ready. The piece is a mix of brilliant oranges, yellows, and reds, punctuated with shadowed areas of black and deep plum. While McKee’s pastel work tends towards recognizable landscapes and cityscapes, his oils are wide swaths of abstract, bold colors, intersected by lines and the impression of muted patterns, almost architectural in nature. “I’ve always had a lot of fun with strong color,” says McKee. “With my landscapes, even though they’re representational art, they’re not based on a specific place, but rather my impression of that place. All my work is about highenergy, high-key color. I like structure in my abstracts; I like them to look like they’ve been built with some element of control. The shapes and the architectural elements just show up intuitively.” Co-founder of the Successories line of motivational graphics and business accessories, McKee’s background as a successful graphic designer and entrepreneur is not only evident in the feel of his abstracts, but also his profoundly personable nature. He and his wife of 28 years, Cassandra, have lived in Arizona full-time since 2013 and spend much of the year traveling the country, displaying his work at art shows, galleries and festivals. It’s clear that he enjoys the connection to those who love his work and have collected it for many years. “I developed a lot of collectors with my landscapes and then started doing abstracts about six years ago,” says McKee. “The abstracts were very different for a lot of my clients, but I found that because it was the language of color that was speaking to them, they liked my abstracts, too. There is an appeal in the implied detail and convergence of structural elements.” McKee grew up in Cleveland as the son of a prominent jazz musician who, at age 89, is still playing Big Band gigs. McKee’s parents, always eager to foster an appreciation of the arts in their four children, saw his love of drawing, recognized his talent and enrolled six year-old Michael in a life drawing class that met on Saturdays at a local college. There he was, sitting among adults and

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Top left to right: "Statuesque," pastel, 38"x50" "Big Sur," pastel, 36"x48" "Snake River," pastel, 27"x48"

drawing live nude models — a bit intimidating for the average child, but McKee went with it and art was soon his career. The musicality in his DNA comes through in a dance of visual intrigue and improvisation. His landscapes are created from memory and he sees the shapes and shadow as chords to be transposed while the paintings take shape. His process begins when he puts a mark on the board and the color becomes a conversation. He is content to discover where it goes as he works. “Improvisation is key in jazz,” says McKee. “I view my work as improvisation, and that’s part of why I paint from memory. I try to get my brain out of the way and to be as present

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as possible. It’s like when you write a composition but, as in jazz, you never hear it the same way twice. There are elements with similar composition in my pieces, but none are the same. They’re different melodic interpretations.” At just 14 years old, he became an animation apprentice, then freelanced as an illustrator and portrait artist through college, earned a National Scholastic Art scholarship, and became an honors graduate of Art Institute of Pittsburgh. His advertising and graphic design career brought him to Chicago in 1981 to launch what eventually became Successories, which he and his partner sold in 2000.


Divested of the business, he and Cassandra began to travel extensively, and the Southwest became a particularly favorite destination. It was one such trip, watching a sunset in Chamayo, New Mexico, that brought him back to fine art as a career. “We were looking at this beautiful sunset, and I reached down to pick up some of the red dirt,” says McKee. “As I rubbed the dirt between my fingers, I felt as if I could feel the sunset in my hands. It reminded me of pastels. Seeing this sunset and holding this dirt, I had the thought that I would get some soft pastels and see what I could do with it. I just fell in love with it right away. It’s a very tactile medium. With the oils, too, I use tools that allow me to feel the tactile response of the paints.” The rich, vibrant colors of the Southwest have always been evident in his color palate, whether in the bright leaves of a pastel forest of Colorado Aspens or dramatic orange poppies on the cliffs of Big Sur. His cityscapes are bright with yellows, reds, and cerulean blues, and large areas of negative space. “Desert colors appeal to me,” says McKee. “Not everyone sees the depth of texture and amount of color in what they might call a limited palate. Coming from Chicago, you get used to seeing your world a quarter mile at a time. The view is confined. Here, you can see forever, and it changes how you interact with the space. There’s an endlessness — a vastness — that people gravitate toward.” What he loves about pastels as a medium is their bright colors and ability to blend in rich combinations, bringing their vibrancy to his abstracts and, in many ways, replicating the mixing and layering of oils. Upon close examination, his pastels reveal an abstract approach to color, line, may 2017

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and shadow that combine to make a recognizable form. His structured abstracts use color and line to lively effect and one can imagine seeing a cityscape, a shoreline, a canyon — environments that pulse with energy. “When you look up close at my landscapes, they’re actually made up of many abstract shapes,” says McKee. “There’s not real detail in there, it’s implied detail. The bold shapes, I would see little abstract compositions all throughout my landscapes. That inspired me to start playing with abstracts as my focus.” McKee is a prolific painter and creates the bulk of his work in the winter so he can travel throughout the summer. While he shows his art here in Arizona October through March, his appeal knows no geographic boundaries. Palm Springs desert denizens, Texan cowboys, Midwestern moguls, and East Coast cosmopolitans all find beauty in his work. At any time of year, his website offers notecards, free downloadable wallpapers, and a limited number of prints, so that fans with various budgets can still enjoy owning a piece of his work. Many collectors attach stories to the back of each of his pieces, noting where they were when they purchased it or what personal meaning it has for them. McKee enjoys hearing their stories and seeing how people connect with his vision. “My goal has never been to become a famous artist,” says McKee. “I love creating what I create. At 62 years old, I don’t concern myself with the next month or the month after. There’s so much happening when you’re painting, I want to let the natural evolution take place and really experience life where it happens — up close.” michaelmckeegallery.com Top: "Royal Payne," oil on red oak, 48"x36"

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As a positive, arts-driven publication, Images Arizona magazine supports the fine artists in your community and reaches an affluent audience within the scope of Phoenix Business Journal’s Wealthiest Zip Codes.

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FEVER Writer Beth Duckett Photographer Bryan Black

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A

After the completion of the world-renowned Bowman House, an architectural tour de feat designed by Southwest designer extraordinaire Bob Bacon, Jim Ikard decided to offer something unique to a growing demographic of residents in north Scottsdale — wealthy car collectors. A developer, Ikard bought 20 acres of land near the award-winning Bowman home, built years ago near its inspiration, the Bacon-designed Boulders Resort and Spa. Ikard contacted Bacon, an architectural designer whose commercial portfolio also includes the Princess Resort in Scottsdale, to see if he could offer his services once again. “I just basically turned Bob loose,” Ikard says of the housing project, located at Windmill Road and Stagecoach Pass in north Scottsdale. “He designed seven unique and different Western ranch homes here.” After delays caused by the recession, the boutique neighborhood, situated behind gates and an iconic windmill in the rolling foothills near Carefree, is now under construction with new multimillion-dollar properties for sale. In addition to eight luxury houses, encased amid rolling foothills and untouched desert extending for miles, Windmill Homes will offer something special for a small but burgeoning group of serious car collectors who want to store and keep their luxury vehicles in pristine shape. According to Ikard, each homesite has the potential for buyers to build an additional “car barn,” which, as it may sound, is like a garage on steroids. Windmill Homes are the latest high-end development in the northeast Valley, and in Arizona, to capitalize on the growing demand for deluxe car garages. Appealing to local car enthusiasts, a demographic that fills the tents every year at the Barrett-

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Jackson Collector Car Auction and Russo and Steele automobile auction, Ikard says each “toy” barn can accommodate multiple vehicles with high-end amenities such as polished concrete floors and lifts to stack cars, generating more storage space. Size-wise, the barns outperform even a generously proportioned house. While all the sites call for oversize garages, the barns themselves can range in size up to 3,600 square feet. “Most of us have multiple cars, and therefore we want homes with garages that can accommodate those cars,” says Peter Volny, activities director of the Desert Region of the Ferrari Club of America, which covers southern Nevada and Arizona. “I think the greater Scottsdale area probably has the largest concentration of exotic and collector cars in the U.S.,” Volny continues. “The main factor is a population with a high disposable income and net worth. No. 2 is climate. People store all their airplanes in the desert because nothing corrodes or deteriorates. It’s the same with cars. When you buy an Arizona car, you’re getting a car you know is in good condition. We don’t have the humidity and salt here. It’s an ideal venue.” Several times a month, members of the non-profit club get together to socialize or drive to iconic places throughout Arizona, often in a convoy, attracting the notice of passing motorists.

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Most recently, more than 50 members visited Windmill Homes, packing into the Bowman House for brunch and socializing. The event was designed, in part, to attract attention to the subdivision from a clientele who not only can afford a multimillion-dollar Bacon pedigreed home, but also are in the market for a residence that can accommodate their high-end car collections in the desert environment. Volny, who joined the club a little over two years ago, says he owned a Maserati and has since purchased a Ferrari — a 1972, 365GTB/4 Daytona. While he may not plan on moving, he acknowledged the appeal of having a massive indoor space for storing vehicles, many of which are driven sparingly but require the utmost in upkeep. “Ferraris are not exactly your daily driver,” he says. “You certainly need something else to drive around in. Many of our members have significant collections of Ferrari and other models as well.” Volny, who admits to being “the worst mechanic who has ever lived,” says high-end garages offer options that you can’t find in a traditional garage. Some of the garages have “very elaborate tool equipment and tool storage,” he notes.


In addition, luxury car owners don’t run the risk of taking their vehicles to an automated car wash. “We’re not going to let the brushes and mechanical equipment get on our very, very expensive paint,” he says. Having more space, and tools such as air compressors to blow water off the cars, can benefit drivers who wash their vehicles at home, Volny adds. Another plus, he says, is the option for a “man cave” in the garage. Buyers can add seating areas, large-screen TVs, wet bars and other amenities for small or large gatherings. “When the boys get together, instead of meeting in the family room, living room or a den, we meet in the garage,” Volny elaborates on a friend’s home. “It’s comfortable and it’s lovely.” While sitting on the living room couch in the Bowman House on a recent Friday, Ikard speaks candidly about the neighborhood he refers to as “a little oasis.” In addition to luxurious amenities such as car barns, what makes the subdivision stand out is its location. Easily considered the most expensive homes in the area, the Windmill subdivision maintains a small, quaint atmosphere close to a major grocery store and shops. Nearby is Desert Mountain Golf Club, where Bacon also imprinted his visionary style as the architectural designer of not only of the club’s showcase Cochise Geronimo clubhouse, but the land planning itself and the main entry building. Ikard offers a tour of the $2.245 million Bowman House, which, like the other houses in the neighborhood already built, is an architectural feat of cozy flowing rooms, intimate seating areas and sprawling outdoor spaces. The homes are designed with the natural desert environment and vistas in mind. The houses are placed 45 degrees off cardinal points, maximizing the winter sun. Vigilant placement means that outdoor views are largely unobstructed. Bacon designs homes “so you can be in the sun or the shade, outside, at any time of year,” says Ikard. Bacon also has named each house after Southwest foliage. The fourth home being built is Joshua Tree, estimated at a price of about $2.7 million when it wraps up construction this spring. The remaining homes will range from about $2.45 million to roughly $2.76 million. 480-788-0401 windmillscottsdale.com ferrariaz.com

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Writer Lara Piu

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In 2012, the Scottsdale Philharmonic was created to give the community free access to professional symphony performances. This month, it will once again do just that. On May 21 at 4 p.m., the symphony will perform Offenbach’s “Barcarolle, Tales of Hoffman,” Mendelssohn’s “Fingals Cave,” Rossini’s “La Gaza Ladra Overture,” Suppe’s “Poet and Peasant Overture,” Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto 5,” and Bruch’s “Romanze” at Scottsdale Bible Church. “All of our concerts are special,” Scottsdale Philharmonic board president and CEO Joy Partridge says. “Our concerts appeal to not only the patrons who attend classical music but to people that are new to the classical music scene.” The evening will be led by Scottsdale Philharmonic conductor Robert R. Nichols. A music educator, Nichols earned the Arizona Music Education Association’s Music Educator of the Year Award in 2015. He has also served in leadership positions for the Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association and the Arizona Music Educators Association. Robert will lead the third in the symphony’s 2017 concert

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series of traditional classical music concerts, each of which is free. “One of our main goals is to encourage knowledge and enjoyment of classical music for everyone and to expand our audience to people of all ages, especially the young,” Joy adds. Scottsdale Philharmonic’s community donors.

activities

are

supported

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“The philharmonic is a non-profit organization mainly funded by donations from our generous patrons and audience,” Joy explains. “All donations are used to bring a full season of concerts to our community.” In addition, Scottsdale Philharmonic will offer two free performances later this year. Its October 8 concert will feature its internationally acclaimed artist-in-residence, pianist Qingqing Ye. Qingqing is a faculty associate in the piano department at Arizona State University, and teaches and performs nationally and internationally.


Experience Scottsdale Philharmonic Scottsdale Bible Church 7601 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale Sunday, May 21 4-6 p.m. General admission: Free V.I.P. seating: $15 480-951-6077 scottsdalephilharmonic.com

November 19, the philharmonic will end the season with a performance Beethoven’s final symphony and masterpiece, “Symphony No. 9” which will be supported by a full choir. All of the symphony’s concerts are held at Scottsdale Bible Church located at 7601 E. Shea Boulevard in Scottsdale. Admission is free and V.I.P. seats are available with a donation of $15 by calling 480-951-6077. The next concert will be held Sunday, May 21 at Scottsdale Bible Church. Doors open at 3 p.m. and the concert is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. scottsdalephilharmonic.com

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Writer Kenneth LaFave Photographer Loralei Lazurek

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As a well-known chef and restaurateur, Mark Tarbell makes it his business to know the best food cities on earth, among them Paris, Venice, New York and San Francisco. This year, he has added a new one to the list: Phoenix. “I could not have anticipated how much fun it was going to be going into all these Valley restaurants,” Tarbell says. “I always thought we’d grown up as a restaurant town in the last five years or so, but I didn’t realize just how much.” Tarbell refers to his latest gig as the new host of “Check, Please! Arizona” on Arizona Public Broadcasting Service. He can be seen on episodes of the show’s seventh season every Thursday at 7 p.m. Each episode of “Check, Please! Arizona” features three restaurants reviewed by ordinary citizens. The reviews take the form of a roundtable discussion with the host. Design and ambiance are elements of the discussion, but the focus is the food, whether it’s a well-made hamburger, a perfectly grilled salmon or an excursion into ethnic cuisine. Tarbell replaced Robert McGrath as host at the head of this season. McGrath, the founder of Roaring Fork restaurant, launched the show and guided it through its first six seasons, four of which won Emmy Awards for local programming. It’s a whole different kind of cooking from whipping up some chicken fennel sausage to go with your house-made ribbon pasta — a Chef Tarbell specialty.

“I facilitate the energy and conversation of people, many of whom have never been on television before,” Tarbell says, explaining the host’s job. "The show has forced me to get out. Usually I'm in the restaurant, but now I'm trying three restaurants for every episode.” Tarbell’s restaurant on East Camelback Road is an icon of Phoenix dining and part of the first wave of fine dining, locally-owned Phoenix-area restaurants in the 1990s. The restaurant’s motto, “Caviar with a side of spaghetti,” reflects its owner’s belief in cuisine that combines sophisticated cooking with the satisfaction of comfort food. It’s a place where you can order an elegant seared lemon sole served over potatoes Lyonnaise, then go for the splurgy homemade chocolate molten cake for dessert. Since Tarbell’s started up more than 20 years ago, it has been known for fresh local produce and innovative menu items. Along with Vincent on Camelback and Christopher’s Restaurant and Crush Lounge, it spearheaded the birth of Phoenix as a foodie city. The only winning challenger on season five of “Iron Chef America,” Tarbell has received numerous awards. He was nominated for Best Chef Southwest by the James Beard Foundation, and Tarbell’s won a Best Restaurant title from Food and Wine magazine. Do the chef’s inventions come from the stove or the head? “Most of what I do, I do in my head — I have a vivid imagination,” Tarbell says. “I

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just think of the flavors together. Anything can trigger it, even a picture or a photograph. I once did a cookbook project sitting on the couch, writing up recipes out of my head. Then I asked Anne Ballman [business manager at Tarbell’s] to cook them in her kitchen to see if they worked.” They did. “That’s just experience,” he modestly claims. “It’s not rocket science.” Perhaps not, but it’s rocket fuel, of a sort. Tarbell’s and the others sparked a surge of restaurant activity in Phoenix, especially in the last half decade or so. The range and quality

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of Valley restaurants surprised the new host of “Check, Please! Arizona.” “I didn’t realize how much is out there,” he says. “There are certainly some well-known chefs, but what really took me by surprise is all these mom-and-pop projects with their microbreweries and great food.” Small, out-of-the-way places can offer the greatest culinary surprises worldwide, Tarbell believes. As an example, he recalls a visit to Venice, Italy. “Of course, Venice is very touristy,” he says. “But I made a connection with someone who led me to a little fish joint


where all the gondoliers ate. It was a tiny, 8-by-10 shack, and the food was absolutely stunning. It’s the little underground places in back alleys that contain the biggest surprises.” He has had similar surprises hosting “Check, Please! Arizona,” but prefers you watch the show to find out what those local places are. When Mark Tarbell goes to a restaurant, how much of the experience is the food, and how much is the environment, service, etc.? “It’s pretty much equal,” he says. “But if there’s a number one, it’s being treated well. That’s why we train our servers in hospitality. So perhaps it’s the people, number one, and then the food.” The next question gets a smile from Tarbell: What do you do in your personal time? "I love that question, because it assumes I have time to spare,” he replies. “I don't have a lot. But I really love being outdoors, hiking the preserves. I've always been an avid hiker because there's so much richness in the desert. I hike the Phoenix preserves, South Mountain Park and the Superstitions.” He is overly modest about his hiking abilities — a photograph on the website for Tarbell’s shows him standing on top of a mountain that just happens to be the Matterhorn in the Alps. If or when more time opens in the future, Tarbell says he will return to an early enthusiasm: trail biking. But for now, it’s food, food, food — cooking it, eating it and talking about it. "I've loved working on ‘Check, Please! Arizona,’” he says. “Reading a script from a teleprompter is more challenging than I thought because you have to behave as if they are your own words. But everyone connected with the show, the whole crew, has been a complete joy and made it easy for me." Like all broadcast work, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Tarbell taped as many as three episodes a day. “The first day on the job was 10 hours long,” he remembers. By the end of the current season, “Check, Please! Arizona” will have covered 250 Arizona restaurants. Will there be a season eight with Tarbell returning as host? He’s signaled his interest, he says. “Maybe they’ll say yes.” azpbs.org/checkplease tarbells.com

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Writer Grace Hill Artist Robert Ransom

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When asked to describe his large-format oil paintings, Robert Ransom doesn’t speak in great length about them. What might first appear as modesty reflects something beyond that: a belief that his paintings communicate their message in a language all their own. “It’s hard take a visual statement like a painting and transfer that,” says Ransom. “The paintings kind of speak for themselves.” And they do. With their bold lines, vivid colors and geometric figures, they don’t sit quietly in the corner waiting to be seen. They jump forth from the wall — begging the viewer to experience them, to hear their story. And to hear the story of the one who created them.

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"Mojave," acrylic on canvas, 50"x40"

Beginnings It was during Ransom’s grade school years when he first was introduced to art. Growing up on the west side of Los Angeles, he enjoyed the extensive art community that surrounded him. Often he gravitated toward the works of American realist painter Edward Hopper and the many WPA (Works Progress Administration) paintings in L.A. Ultimately these paintings would influence Ransom’s own style. However, his current style did not completely develop until he attended graduate school at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where the mountains and the town’s cowboy culture surrounded him. “I went to graduate school, and that’s where I got the influence of the Western part of the arts,” says Ransom. “I


Left: "Zuma," oil on canvas, 72"x60" Above: "Asked to Leave Town," oil on canvas, 48"x60"

"Chili Bowl," oil on canvas, 48"x60"

have two things going on: the beach and the west side of LA where I was brought up, and then Flagstaff.”

for his artwork but also a salary, he finally had the ability to live out his passion full time.

And so, Ransom’s Americana pop art was born.

Now Ransom creates in his own home studio in Sacramento, spending roughly six to eight hours a day there.

Full-time Artist Ransom’s success as an artist came by way of encouragement from an unlikely place. While working as a volunteer art teacher for a senior citizens’ painting class, one of the students suggested that he should enter his paintings at the state fair. Thankfully he listened to that advice. “My paintings won first place, second place and best of show,” Ransom recalls. “The judge from the state fair came over to my house that evening and bought three of my paintings. From there, that took me to a different level of marketing my work.” He still needed to earn a living though, and did so installing wallpaper. But when a gallery not only offered him commission

Spontaneous Art For each piece, Ransom follows a similar creative process. “I think of an idea first, then I sketch it out in black and white on canvas, and then kind of adjust it at that time to get the ratios, like the arms and heads,” he explains. “Then I start adding the colors into those zones, and then keep adding colors and changing things until it’s finished.” He also uses the Flemish Technique from the 1500s. By following this technique, he creates a sort of glow by applying the varnish in layers.

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While the way he paints is more deliberate, his inspiration comes from a different place — a place all his own. “Just all spontaneous,” says Ransom of his work. “Subconsciousness. There’s no planning that kind of thing. It’s just what I think of at the time.” Appreciation But again, Ransom won’t explain what he was thinking. He will instead point in the direction of his painting. Standing before his work, feelings of familiarity and of memories of days gone by will arise in the viewer. A sense of mystery also creeps up, and a desire to know the secrets that hide in the faces of the men and women who lounge by the poolside or grill hotdogs on a hot summer’s day. Don’t be too quick to interpret it though. Wait and let the paintings speak for themselves.

"Barbeque," oil on canvas, 60"x48"

But who will speak of the artist? Understanding Ransom certainly creates a better understanding of his work. Mark Pascale, curator at the Art Institute of Chicago, describes him with precision. “Ransom’s appreciation and interpretation of the west is the main theme of his work,” Pascale says. “I consider Ransom to be the Andy Warhol of the American pastime.” For anyone who knows anything about art, that comparison says a lot. To view Ransom’s paintings in person, visit Wild Holly Gallery located at 22 Easy Street in Carefree, Arizona. robertransom.com wildhollygallery.com

"No Tell Motel," oil on canvas, 40"x50"

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Writer Lara Piu

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Sitting in the midst of palm tree-lined resorts, golf courses, spas, salons, wineries, restaurants and luxurious shops is McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, calling out the kid in all of us. In 1967, the land was donated by Fowler McCormick, the last remaining grandson of John D. Rockefeller, to be used as a park for all to enjoy. The City of Scottsdale developed and later opened the park in 1975. Today, its 30 acres feature a colorful, carved antique carousel, a railroad museum, a model railroad exhibit, two railroad-themed playgrounds, and its original main attraction: the Paradise & Pacific Railroad, a three-steam engine locomotive ride that is now a community icon. Each summer since 1976, the park’s massive lawns are also transformed into a summer concert amphitheater. This year, concerts will be held April 30 though July 2 each Sunday at 7:30 p.m. “The summer concert series has been a longrunning tradition at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park,” City of Scottsdale assistant recreation coordinator Sam Gruber says. “With the help of the Scottsdale Railroad and Mechanical Society, the City of Scottsdale has been providing a fun, free evening of entertainment for families of the valley for over 40 years.”

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Groove Merchants, Rock Lobster and other popular local bands will perform classic rock, retro ’80s and ’90s, country, rhythm and blues and other genres. A patriotic fireworks show will follow the July 2 concert. “We feel that the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is the happiest place in Scottsdale and the connection these concerts create between the City of Scottsdale and our community are invaluable,” Sam adds. The park concession stand and Hartley’s General Store will sell hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, soda, water and other food and drinks. Seating is first-come, first-served, Sam adds, so arrive early. “People show up an hour or so early to find their perfect location to set up for the show with blankets, lawn chairs and coolers,” he adds.

FUN FACT

1 MILLION = THE NUMBER OF DOLLARS MCCORMICK-STILLMAN RAILROAD PARK LAND WAS WORTH WHEN DONATED IN 1967 –AND– THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO VISIT THE PARK ANNUALLY.

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DATE

PERFORMER

GENRE

April 30

Groove Merchants

Rock, R&B, Funk

May 7

Marmalade Skies

Beatles Tribute

May 14

One Of These Nights

Eagles Tribute

May 21

Rock Lobster

Retro ’80's

May 28

Pearl Ridge

Rock

June 4

Outside The Line

Funk, R&B

June 11

The Real Thing

Top 40

June 18

Americana

’60s & ’70s

June 2

Smashed

’90s-2000s Pop

July 2

Mogollon (fireworks after)

High-Energy Country

Experience

Summer Concert Series McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park 7301 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale Sundays, April 30–July 2 7:30–9 p.m. Free therailroadpark.com

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With a sweet surprise hidden inside, these colorful flower piĂąata cookies make a thoughtful gift that is sure to delight both adults and children alike. The hollowed-out center can be filled with sprinkles or your favorite miniature candies, which spill out once bitten into, much like a piĂąata. Use a variety of cookie cutters to customize these cookies for any special occasion. 64

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Writer and photographer Monica Longenbaker


Flower Piñata Cookies Yield: 6 Piñata Cookies Ingredients: 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for rolling) 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon kosher salt ¾ cup butter, softened 2 cups granulated sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Optional: ½ teaspoon almond extract miniature candy for filling (sprinkles, mini M&Ms, etc.) sprinkles for topping royal icing, store-bought or recipe below flower-shaped cookie cutter small round cookie cutter (about 1” diameter) Directions: Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract and mix for an additional one to two minutes. Gradually fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix. Divide the dough in half and shape into two discs. Cover each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare two parchmentlined baking sheets. Unwrap the first disc and place onto a well-floured surface. Roll the dough to ¼”- ½” thick. Cut as many flower-shaped cookies as you can, then transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Tip: Roll the dough onto the parchment paper. Cut the cookies 2” apart, then remove the excess dough and transfer directly to a baking

sheet. (Note: Excess trim will need to be reformed and rolled again, but may need to firm up again in the refrigerator before using.) Repeat with the second disc of dough. Bake the cookies for seven to nine minutes or until golden brown on the bottom edges. Once baked, select 1/3 of the cookies and cut a 1” hole (or as big as your cookie shape will allow) into the center of each. These holes will hold the candies later on. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. To assemble piñata cookies: Place royal icing into a piping bag with a small tip. Place a cookie with a hole in its center on top of a whole cookie. Dab some royal icing on each petal of the bottom cookie to glue the cookies together. Place miniature candies into the hole of the cookie, then place a third cookie on top using royal icing to glue. Frost the top cookie with the royal icing, then decorate as desired with sprinkles. Allow the icing to set for about an hour. Store the cookies in an airtight container until serving. Royal Icing Ingredients: 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted 1½ tablespoons meringue powder 3 tablespoons water (plus more for thinning) Optional: 1-2 drops food coloring Directions: Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat powdered sugar, meringue powder and water on low speed until combined. Raise the speed to medium and continue to beat for seven to 10 minutes until icing forms peaks. Optional: Beat in food coloring until desired color is reached. If necessary, thin the icing by adding water ½ teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

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Italian Antipasto Skewers Yield: 24 Skewers Ingredients: 48 pieces (about ½ pound) tortellini 1 teaspoon olive oil 6 ounces salami, cut into 48 pieces, ½” squares 24 grape or cherry tomatoes 24 artichoke hearts, drained 24 miniature mozzarella balls 24 black or green olives pesto, store-bought or recipe below 24 – 6” wooden skewers

Directions: Cook the tortellini according to the package directions. Drain and rinse, then coat in olive oil to prevent the tortellini from sticking. Carefully thread each ingredient onto the wooden skewers in the following order: Tortellini, salami, cherry tomato, artichoke heart, mozzarella ball, salami, tortellini, olive. Right before serving, brush each skewer with pesto. Serve at room temperature.

Pesto Directions: 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed 1 small clove garlic 2 tablespoons pinenuts, toasted 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated 2 teaspoon lemon juice ½ cups extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Place the basil leave, garlic clove, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and lemon juice into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse until roughly chopped. While the machine is on, slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Writer and photographer Monica Longenbaker

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Looking for a quick, last minute appetizer? These no-fuss Italian antipasto skewers are a fresh way to jazz up storebought ingredients. A variety of pickled and fresh vegetables, salami, mozzarella cheese and tortellini are threaded together on a wooden skewer and coated with pesto. The handheld skewers pack up easily for picnics, but are perfect for formal get-togethers as well.


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Images Arizona: Grayhawk May 2017 Issue  

Featuring Chef Mark Tarbell, Jack Langyel, Michael McKee and more!

Images Arizona: Grayhawk May 2017 Issue  

Featuring Chef Mark Tarbell, Jack Langyel, Michael McKee and more!

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