News

Wed
26
Jul

PebbleCreek chefs compete for best burger


Chef Mary Ahrens created the Hail Mary burger at the Eagle’s Nest. It combines portabella button mushrooms, roasted garlic, thyme, shallots ground with brisket and other flavorful ingredients. (Photo courtesy PebbleCreek)
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
 
Robert Nixon considers himself a burger connoisseur. 
 
So as the executive chef at Toscana’s Grill in PebbleCreek’s Tuscany neighborhood, Nixon felt right at home entering the James Beard Blended Burger Battle.
 
“I love eating hamburgers,” Nixon said. “I’ve probably tried everybody’s hamburgers in the Valley.”
 
Toscana’s Grill, located at 16262 Clubhouse Drive, Goodyear, and other restaurants throughout the United States are kicking their burgers into high gear to compete for a trip to New York City next year. The challenge to chefs is to make the best burger possible while including one or more types of mushrooms. The top five chefs around the country, as voted by the public through July 31, will fly to New York City in January to compete in the final showdown of the Blended Burger challenge.
 
Wed
26
Jul

Tips still sought in Jesse Wilson disappearance


Special to West Valley View

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Buckeye 10-year-old Jesse Wilson has been missing for more than 12 months. Tips have dwindled. The press has pulled away.

Wed
26
Jul

Gamer ‘Axe’ Williamson honors Arizona


Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson is hoping to score big again this month, as he attends Dreamhack Atlanta from July 21 to July 23 in Atlanta. (Photo courtesy Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson)
By Israel Gonzalez
 
As a champion esports player of “Super Smash Bros. Melee,” the West Valley’s Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson loves the game and embodies the state in which he grew up. 
 
“I always wear the flag and represent Arizona because it means a lot to me,” Williamson said. “It’s where I spent pretty much my whole life. So that’s why I wear the flag. I always remember that I’m playing and I’m trying to win for all the people who helped me get this far.”
 
Born in Germany to U.S. military parents, Williamson moved to Arizona as a youngster and was raised in Sierra Vista. Relocating to Phoenix in 2009, Williamson juggled work, school and competitive gaming, especially with Nintendo products.
 
Tue
25
Jul

Couple seeks to inform community about gun rights


Dan and Cheryl Todd take their web-based radio show, Gun Freedom Radio, seriously. (Photo courtesy Dan and Cheryl Todd)
By Arman Sidhu
 
Throughout his childhood, Dan Todd saw firearms as more than just a tool for hunting and defense. He saw it as a symbol of American culture and freedom.
 
“Guns were a normal part of my life and I was taught to respect them,” Todd said. “We were brought up knowing that owning guns was a great American right and that right was extremely important.”
 
Tue
25
Jul

Author shares insights on the lore of food


McNamee is a prolific author with 40 books and more than 5,000 articles to his credit.(www.gregorymcnamee.com)
By West Valley View Staff
 
Author, editor, photographer and publisher Gregory McNamee offers a unique perspective into the cultural aspects of food in the July 25 edition of the free Hot Coffee Arts & Culture lecture series. 
 
McNamee, the author of “Moveable Feasts: The History, Science and Lore of Food,” invites the public to explore how local culture is reflected in the foods they prepare, specifically how the foods of Arizona speak to the many cultures, native and newcomer, that make up Arizona.
 
The Hot Coffee Arts & Culture Lecture Series is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 25, at Total Wine, 1416 N. Litchfield Road, Goodyear. 
 
Mon
24
Jul

Historical Society looks back at farming


Litchfield Park Historical Society, July 15, 2017. (West Valley View photo by Ray Thomas)
By Becky Bracken
 
Last February, Litchfield Park turned 100 years old. It’s the role of the Litchfield Park Historical Society and Museum to keep the area’s history alive. To commemorate the milestone, the organization commissioned a .999 percent pure Arizona copper coin with an image of Paul Weeks Litchfield on the “heads” side and three cotton balls on the “tails” side. Sales of the $20 coins benefit LPHS activities. They are available for purchase at the museum gift show. 
 
The museum is housed in one of the original homes built by Paul W. Litchfield, who brought Goodyear Tire and Rubber to the area, affectionately still called “Aunt Mary’s House.” That’s what the Litchfield children called the house, one of five built on the estate, according to the museum. 
 
Mon
24
Jul

Crossing guards prepare for a safe school year


AFN file photo
By West Valley View Staff
 
With the school year rapidly approaching, hundreds of school crossing guards will be participating in regional training workshops this month to ensure thousands of Valley students make it safely to and from schools.
 
The 2017 Regional School Crossing Guard Training Workshops are sponsored by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) and its member agencies. Three workshops are scheduled for the following dates and locations.
 
All workshop times are from 9 a.m. to noon:
  • Thursday, July 27, Washington High School Auditorium, 2217 W. Glendale Avenue, Phoenix.
  • Tuesday, August 1, Rio Vista Recreation Center, 8866-A W. Thunderbird Road, Peoria.
  • Thursday August 3, Dobson High School, North Lobby Auditorium, 1501 W. Guadalupe Road, Mesa.
Mon
24
Jul

Summer Wine Dinner Series promises ‘good times’


The Wigwam Resort’s restaurant offers fine dining with a casual feel. (Photo special to West Valley View)
By Erica J. Shumaker
 
Wigwam Resort executive sous chef Chris Knouse is bringing together four wines from Long Meadow Ranch Winery and Hunted Harvest and tastes from around the world for the Summer Wine Dinner Series that continues Friday, July 21. 
 
“We kind of stray away from the mainstream wines,” Knouse said. “We play around with more innovative wines, some smaller or lesser-known wineries that are making incredible wines.”
 
The five-course dinner will use Crenshaw melons, local goat cheese, Japanese cucumbers, baby corn, cherries and Queen Creek balsamic vinegar, among other ingredients. The Wigwam chefs integrate as much local produce as possible in their farm-to-table recipes. 
 
Sun
23
Jul

Wigwam entertainer building career as drummer


Tanner Siegfort plays Red’s Bar and Grill at The Wigwam in Litchfield Park from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays with fledgling country singer Jacob Morris. (Photo courtesy Tanner Siegfort)
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
 
When Tanner Siegfort was a student at East Mesa’s Red Mountain High School, he had nothing on his mind but becoming a drummer. 
 
He sat behind the kit for the first time at age 5 and was adamant he would make it in music. He never looked back. Inspired by his drummer father, Siegfort has had the opportunity to play with local heavy hitter Colton Avery, who is in England being mentored by The Script, and country singer-songwriter Laura Walsh. 
 
“I joined my first band at age 12,” said the 23-year-old Siegfort. “Pretty much from the first time I was on stage, I thought, ‘This is fun.’ I was born into it. 
 
“I’m glad I went in that direction. There’s nothing else I could imagine myself doing.”
 
Sat
22
Jul

Birt’s Bistro teams with Luke AFB for ‘Chef Mentor’ program


Jennifer Wascher was a member of the Luke Air Force Base “Chef Mentor” program at Birt’s Bistro. (Photo courtesy Benevilla)
By Jay Lickus
 
Jennifer Wascher wasn’t sure what was in store for her when she found out she was assigned to Birt’s Bistro as part of the Luke Air Force Base (AFB) “Chef Mentor” program.
 
Wascher, a services apprentice with the Air Force who lives in Surprise, wasn’t familiar with Birt’s Bistro nor was she a chef. Birt’s Bistro is a social enterprise of Benevilla. Purchases at Birt’s helps to fund Benevilla programs and services.
 
“I am extremely happy I was given the chance to experience what Birt’s Bistro and Benevilla do for our community,” Wascher said.
 
The “Chef Mentor” program was founded after Luke AFB officials reached out to the City of Surprise looking for a local chef to judge their first “Iron Chef” competition in February. 
 

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