Turkey and stuffing aren’t the only foods on the menu this week in the Old Pueblo.
The Tucson City of Gastronomy Chefs on a Global Stage event will offer fare such as roast pork shoulder adobado with chipotle Anasazi beans, shrimp tacos with Sonoran white wheat tortillas and other distinctive dishes that celebrate the flavors of the region from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Carriage House, 125 S. Arizona Ave.
“This is a unique opportunity for locals to taste the dishes created by some of Tucson’s best chefs to introduce international audiences to our place-based food traditions and our contemporary restaurant cuisine,” said Jonathan Mabry, president of the nonprofit Tucson City of Gastronomy.
Created in 2016 after Tucson became the first city in the United States to receive a prestigious City of Gastronomy designation from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, the Tucson City of Gastronomy is on a mission to help grow a sustainable desert community by supporting creative food cultures including the chefs dedicated to embracing local ingredients and food history.
As part of this effort, the organization raises funds to send local chefs to other UNESCO Cities of Gastronomy in order to showcase regional and indigenous foods. In 2017, chefs Janos Wilder, Travis Peters, Brian Smith and Michael Montesano each provided international outreach to different cities including Paris; Parma, Italy; Belém, Brazil; and Dénia, Spain.
The upcoming event will highlight the opportunity for the chefs to recreate their dishes while sharing their travel experiences; proceeds will not only help to fund future trips to send local chefs abroad but to bring chefs from other UNESCO Cities of Gastronomy to Tucson.
“Just like our chefs are teaching other cities about our food traditions that creatively highlight heritage ingredients in new dishes, our chefs can learn from the creativity of chefs from other cities of gastronomy. Exchanging chefs with other UNESCO cities is an opportunity to exchange creative ideas,” said Mabry.
Additionally, Mabry said the organization is in the process of developing a training program to increase the size and diversity of the pool of chefs prepared to represent Tucson at international events.
“The UNESCO designation is a global platform to promote our creative food cultures. It brings media attention and visitors, which lead to new business opportunities and jobs at all economic levels in our community,” said Mabry.