Despite what the name might seem to suggest, the sixth annual Arizona Farmer + Chef Connection isn't just for industry professionals. Sure, the vendor marketplace is a great way for Tucson's restaurants and hotels to find new local vendors for their wholesale accounts, but the whole event is jam packed with informational sessions focusing on sustainability, farming and the importance of buying local.
Put on by Local First Arizona, the event allows you to listen in on conversations between panels of experts on a range of topics. So, whether you're interested in learning how to limit food waste from Proper chef Kris Vrolijk and Iskashitaa's Barbra Eiswerth, how to farm with FoodCorps Arizona's Will Conway and Chris Mazarella of the Community Food Bank or how to maximize your localism with Local First's Kimber Lanning, Mike Mallozzi of Borderlands Brewing Co. and more, there'll be something for to pique your interest.
The final keynote speaking engagement features several big names and up-and-comers in Arizona's food scene. The event will pair purveyors with restaurant and business owners to discuss why they choose the sources that they do and more. Marco Bianco of Pane Bianco, James Beard Award nominated chef Kevin Binkley, Kelly Watters of the Food Conspiracy Co-op, Todd Bostock of Dos Cabezas Wineworks, Emma Zimmerman of Hayden Flour Mills and more will all contribute to this discussion.
The Arizona Farmer + Chef Connection will take over the Tucson Convention Center (260 S. Church Ave.) on Wednesday, Sept. 16. The event runs from noon until 5:30 p.m. with a closing reception featuring local appetizers, craft beer and wine to follow. Tickets are $10, which can be found online, along with more information, on the Local First Arizona website.