Nirvana brings culinary stars back to Sanctuary for second annual spring food fest

Nirvana Food & Wine 2018

Scott Conant, Aarón Sánchez, Stephanie Izard and Sanctuary’s own Beau MacMillan among the headliners at weekend-long celebration of fine food, wine and spirits, April 19-22, 2018.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Feb. 6. 2018 – It’s not called Paradise Valley for nothing. Once again, Nirvana will transform Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa into culinary heaven with four days of food-related fun whipped up by world-acclaimed chefs, mixologists, and California winemakers. Held April 19-22, 2018, Scottsdale’s premiere food event is back for a second year of tastings, themed parties, fine dining and opportunities to get up close and personal with international celebrities from the world of food and wine.

Among the headliners are Sanctuary’s own Executive Chef Beau MacMillan, who will share the spotlight with star chef/television personalities Todd English, Chuck Hughes, Aarón Sánchez, Stephanie Izard, Scott Conant; master mixologists Jason Asher, Maxton Kennedy, and more. Also playing a starring role will be Arizona’s glorious spring weather and famous sunsets, with Sanctuary’s mountain perch offering the ideal vantage point.

“Scottsdale is an emerging hotbed for culinary expression, and Sanctuary is the ideal backdrop to bring together the nation’s top talent. We look forward to building on our community’s passion for fine food and drink during this second installment of Nirvana,” said Michael Surguine, Sanctuary’s vice president and managing director.

Nirvana 2018 will bring back crowd favorites from last year – Flutes & Coops, Best of the West, the Master of Taste winemaker dinners and a Celebrity Golf Tournament. Three new events will make their festival debuts – Bourbon Street Blues, Rosé Parté, and Tequila & Tortillas.

Tickets to Nirvana are available at www.NirvanaFoodandWine.com. In addition to individual tickets, there are two value packages available: the Nirvana Passport ($444), offering a 20-percent savings for those who attend all events (excluding the celebrity golf tournament, Rosé Parté, and Master of Taste) and the Fiji Tastemaker ($256.50), which combines two main events, Bourbon Street and Tequila & Tortillas, at a 10-percent savings.

Those interested in turning their festival experience into a luxurious culinary getaway can book one of two Nirvana Packages. “Total Nirvana” starts at $2,025 and includes three nights’ (Thursday – Saturday) accommodations at Sanctuary, one of the most celebrated resorts in the U.S., tickets to all four main Nirvana events, and 20-percent savings on room and tickets. Or, travelers may opt for the “Nirvana Package” that starts at $1,827 with the guest’s choice of two Nirvana main events, and 10-percent savings on tickets and accommodations in a luxury casita, suite or private home. Book online at https://www.sanctuaryoncamelback.com/nirvana-food-wine-getaway or call 844-871-6042.

Nirvana enthusiasts can stay connected with the latest news on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The 2018 line-up includes:

Bourbon Street Blues
Hosted by mixologist Jason Asher; presented by Bulleit Bourbon
Thursday, April 19, 7-10 p.m.; Infinity Pool and Lawn; $150 per person

Nirvana will kick off with a grand New Orleans-style festival, complete with a dazzling array of food and drinks. Live jazz will set a Mardi Gras mood featuring the Valley’s top mixologists. Guest are encouraged to dress in their best masquerade attire. Participating mixologists include Jason Asher, Brian Blevins, Maxton Kennedy, Bobby Kramer, Eric Wilson, and Libby Longlott. Chefs are Paul Boehmer, Audrey Enriquez, George Frasher, Brian Lieske, Beau MacMillan, Landon Post, and Lenard Rubin.

Master of Taste Dinner A
Hosted by chefs Matt Carter and Mark Stark; winemakers Rich Aurilia and Dan Kosta
Thursday, April 19; 7-10 p.m.; Casa Seven; $350 per person; limited availability

The Master of Taste dinners are intimate culinary experiences pairing top chefs from the Scottsdale area and California’s Sonoma County with a notable winemaker. The first of two such evenings will showcase the fine vintages of Napa’s Red Stitch Wines with owner Rich Aurilia, a former San Francisco Giants shortstop, and his wine mentor Dan Kosta of Kosta Browne. This very special event will be hosted at one of Sanctuary’s most luxurious private estate homes. Casa Seven’s dramatic glass wall affords dinner attendees a spectacular view of the valley below.

Flutes & Coops
Hosted by chefs Stephanie Izard and Chuck Hughes, presented by Möet & Chandon and Woodford Reserve
Friday, April 20, 6:30-7:15 p.m. (VIP), 7:15-10 p.m. (general admission); The Sanctuary Ballroom and Lower Lawn; $225 VIP/ $150 GA per person

Fried chicken and Champagne prove to be an inspired pairing as an all-star line-up of local chefs put their own spin on the southern specialty, complete with side dishes, fine bubbly and live music thanks to American country singer/songwriter D. Vincent Williams & the Nashville Allstars. Festival-goers can book VIP admission to enjoy 45 minutes of personal time with their favorite chef. Participating chefs and mixologists include Lindsay Autry, Jacob Cutino, Rochelle Daniel, Michael DeMaria, Eddie Diaz, Ron Dimas, Jacob Ellis, Stephen Jones, James Garron, Kiefer Gilbert, and Bernie Kantak.

Master of Taste Dinner B
Hosted by chefs Dustin Valette and Christopher Gross; winemaker Tuck Beckstoffer
Friday, April 20, 7-10 p.m.; Casa Seven; $350 per person; limited availability

Nirvana’s second winemaker evening puts the spotlight on pioneering Napa vintner Tuck Beckstoffer and his eponymous Tuck Beckstoffer Wines. This intimate dinner will be hosted at Casa Seven, one of Sanctuary’s glorious private estate homes.

Celebrity Golf Tournament
Saturday, April 21, 8 a.m. registration and 8:45 a.m. tee; Mountain Shadows; $2,000 per foursome

Golf enthusiasts can tee off their day on Mountain Shadows, one of Phoenix’s premiere courses, with Nirvana’s fun-filled celebrity tournament. Each foursome will be paired with a renowned chef (including Sanctuary’s own Beau MacMillan), star mixologist or notable sports figure, with plenty of food, beer, wine and spirits on hand to fuel an unforgettable round.

Rosé Parté
Hosted by chef Todd English
Saturday, April 21, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; $135 per person

A refreshing alternative for those who prefer pink to golf course green, this new-to-Nirvana event will pair fine bites with fashionable rosé against a backdrop of spectacular desert views.

Best of the West
Hosted by chef Scott Conant (Mora Italian) and mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim
Saturday, April 21, 6:30-7:15 p.m. (VIP), 7:15-10 p.m. (general admission); elements, Praying Monk, jade bar, Sunset Garden and Lower Lawn; $225 VIP/$150 GA per person
Nirvana’s closing night will bring together the best chefs in the West for a grand finale-worthy walk-around tasting that will take guests to indoor and outdoor settings throughout the resort. VIP attendees gain early access and extra time with the chefs, including Justin Beckett, Cullen Campbell, Ryan Clark, John Conley, Russell LaCasce, Branden Levine, Gio Osso, Jeremy Pacheco, James Porter, Joseph Rodger, Caleb Schiff, Matthew Taylor, and Chuck Wiley.

Tequila & Tortillas
Hosted by chef Aarón Sánchez and mixologist Maxton Kennedy
Sunday, April 22, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; elements, Praying Monk, jade bar, Sunset Garden and Lower Lawn; $135 per person

Because it’s always five o’clock somewhere, Nirvana’s Southwestern-style show-stopping farewell brunch promises tequila, tequila and more tequila. Festival-goers can shake off the sleep with palate-wakening Mexican specialties and live music to celebrate their final morning in paradise. Participating chefs: Rene Andrade, Jason Asher, Lee Hilson, Beau MacMillan, Aaron May, Julio Mata, Peter McQuaid, Doug Robson, Lenard Rubin, Samantha Sanz, Ana Garza and Suny Santana.