It was the kind of day that could make a person pack their Minnesota home into a Subaru and move to Tucson. Just barely February, it was 72 degrees, sunny, and perfectly breezy. With their long sun dresses, linen pants, and wide-brimmed hats, Tucsonans filled the Tucson Botanical Gardens for the 4th annual SAVOR Food and Wine Festival. They weren’t alone. Joining them were 67 local chefs, restaurants, wineries, breweries, and small businesses with their best dishes, wine, and beer for SAVOR Food and Wine Festival’s 1,500 guests. And they didn’t disappoint.
Guests at the SAVOR Food and Wine Festival spent four beautiful hours eating, drinking, and perusing the Frida Kahlo exhibit to benefit Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA), Local First Arizona, and Tucson Botanical Gardens. In addition to raising money for these organizations’ programs and events, the SAVOR Food and Wine Festival exposed the multitude of talented chefs, farmers, winemakers, and brewers in the region.
One of these participants was Ramona Farms, a family farm that grows native tepary beans as well as a variety of other heirloom beans. They enthusiastically talked to guests about the origins of tepary beans, how they can be used (in anything from salads to brownies), and their health benefits. To demonstrate the versatility of tepary beans, they brought tepary bean brownies (sans butter or eggs) and bean stew, both of which were delicious.
The large number of participants at the SAVOR Food and Wine Festival provided a great balance of adult beverages (the Bees Knees cocktail from The Independent Distillery was almost too good), savory fair (i.e. mouthwatering shrimp and grits from Kingfisher) and desserts (specifically the grapefruit cotton candy from SpunLight, prickly pear lemon squares from Mama’s Hawaiian BBQ, and sticky toffee pudding from Wildflower).
Tucson Botanical Gardens was the most perfect setting for the festival, and guests seemed to go about the day filling their souvenir wine glass with local wine from Pillsbury, Dos Cabezas, and Sand-Reckoner, strolling through the recreation of Frida Kahlo’s home garden, refilling their glass with beer from Pueblo Vida, Dragoon, and Barrio, visiting the captivating butterfly exhibit, and nibbling a variety of food throughout their stroll. It was an all around, wonderful day that could have made anybody proud of the beauty and talent in Southern Arizona.
Watch our Instagram Story from the event below, and be sure to follow us on Instagram to see what we’re up to!