Phoenix, Arizona with its downtown lit by the last rays of sun at the dusk.

Devour Culinary Classic 2024

FEBRUARY 24-25, 2024


The Devour Culinary Classic gives the floor to Arizona’s top chefs, as well as local restaurants, wineries and food artists.

Named “Best Southwestern Culinary Festival” by The New York Times, the Devour Culinary Classic is a food and wine festival that gives the floor to Arizona’s top chefs, as well as local restaurants, wineries and food artists. It’s a sort of Arizona’s Got Talent kinda thing, only in the culinary realm. This two-day event takes place at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, and is considered the crème de la crème of the multi-event Devour Week, a food and drink experience taking place in the city. With an average of 70 local restaurants preparing tasting menus and serving wine every year, Devour Culinary Classics draws food critics and journalists from all over the country. According to some, the Goat Taco of Otro Cafe saved the day at a rain-soaked opening day of Devour Culinary Classics in 2020, where the odor of 50,000 plants at the garden almost exceeded that of sizzling pans and baking ovens. 

To add extra spice, the 15th annual Devour Culinary Classic also fosters a festival-wide competition. Receiving scores on taste, presentation, creativity and level of difficulty, the contestants go big. Expect to see presentations of dishes in clear cone glasses or wrapped in corn leaves. Among the prizes, there are Best in Show, Double Gold Medal, and Best Dessert. Hana Japanese Eatery won the 2023 Best in Show with a dumpling filled with pork and wrapped in sweet rice, while Citizen Public House/The Gladly won the 2023 Double Gold Medal with Chef Bernie Kantak’s Iberico-duroc Pork Steak. Last year, the festival also added the first-ever Heritage Medal, which awards those who favor indigenous ingredients, traditional techniques passed down from one generation to another, or locally-sourced materials. The Gastronomic Union of Tucson took home the inaugural trophy with a Grilled Picanha Taco.

But don’t overindulge at the Devour Culinary Classic, because two other signature events of the Devour Week await you: the 7 Chef Dinner, where you can savor a multiple-course meal prepared by seven Arizona award-winning chefs, and Devour The World, a showcase of the multicultural flavors of international cuisines – Mexican, Ethiopian, Salvadoreño, among others that have found a home in the region. An average of 70 restaurants participate.

The Specs

  • Attendance numbers are not available.
  • Single-Day Tasting Packages cost $150. Single-Day Early Entry Packages cost $225. Tickets for general public went on sale November 3. Tickets are now sold out. 
  • Add a stop to Cocina 10 Kitchen in Phoenix, which is part of our Fifty Grande list of 11 Music Venue Restaurants Worth Sitting Down For. And here‘s our guide to the state.


What is the closest airport to Devour Culinary Classic?

The closest international airport to Devour Culinary Classic is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which is four miles away.

How far is Scottsdale from Phoenix?

The cities are right next to each other and part of the “valley” in the Phoenix metro area.

Where exactly does the event take place?

At Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. The address is 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ.

It’s my first time attending. What should I expect?

It’s a food festival focused on Arizona. It’s organized by Local First Arizona, Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA), and the Desert Botanical Garden. Its purpose is to spotlight local chefs, food purveyors, wineries and the culinary scene. Although this is a food festival, there will be live music and arts throughout the Desert Botanical Garden as well.

Is the festival family-friendly?

The festival is for those 21 and older.

What are the festival’s hours?

The general admission to the fest takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m and Tasting Package ticket holders have access at these times. The Early Entry + Indoor Lounge Access Package ($225) offers access from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (and priority parking).

Who are the judges this year?

Natasha Pickowicz (chef, writer), Jose R. Ralat (Texas Monthly editor), Howard Seftel (former Arizona Republic food critic, James Beard Award judge), Brooke Jackson-Glidden (Eater Portland editor) and Stephanie Burnette (writer, ICS World Chili Cookoff judge).


BY Anna Montagner