2016 Food & Beverage Sponsors


Rendez-Zoo 2016 Culinary Sponsors

Creations in Cuisine CateringCreations in Cuisine
Chef Tony Rea

Learn more about Chef Tony Rea

For over eleven years Creations in Cuisine Catering has been servicing Phoenix and the surrounding areas with innovative cuisine and event design. Our goal is to be your first choice when planning your wedding, corporate cocktail reception or a catered affair in the privacy of your own home.

We have established a reputation for being flexible and creative with our menu selections. At Creations in Cuisine Catering we use the freshest ingredients available to prepare your food with an emphasis on taste and creativity. Our professional team of event planners will guide you through all the steps necessary to help assure your event will surpass your expectations. Please take a moment to visit our site and review some of the menus we offer or contact our sales staff for personalized menu creations.

Supporting Conservation . . .
Creations in Cuisine Catering is proud to participate in sustainable practices in our daily operations and during events. Concern is placed on procuring locally-grown products such as olive oil, produce and other organic ingredients in our food creations. During events we offer a recycling bin for cans, plastics and other materials and provide environmentally safe disposable plates, utensils, napkins and glassware as an alternative. Creations in Cuisine Catering is currently researching ways to improve our water and electric usage as well as biodegradable detergents for our cleaning needs.


deseo at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spadeseonew
Chef Derek Biazo
6902 E. Greenway Parkway
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Learn more about Chef Derek Biazo

As the head chef of the Resort’s signature AAA Four Diamond restaurant, Biazo is continuing deseo’s commitment to offering fresh, flavorful Nuevo Latino cuisine prepared with the best quality ingredients and elegant simplicity for which deseo is so well known.

A native of Kingman, Arizona, Chef Biazo fell in love with the world of fine dining at the age of 14 when his grandmother took him on a trip to Canada and he was introduced to new culinary experiences and French cuisine. In Northern California, he focused on French-influenced California cuisine as sous chef at Viognier, opened the Menlo Grill Bistro at the Stanford Park Hotel, and served as executive chef at the Bay Area’s famous Alexander’s Steakhouse, a classic American steakhouse with Japanese influences.

In addition, Chef Biazo has held roles in the kitchens of several local restaurants including Elements, Top of the Rocks and Alchemy.


elements at Sanctuary on Camelback MountainElements at Sanctuary
Chef Beau MacMillan
5700 E. McDonald Dr.
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Learn more about Chef Beau MacMillan

As Executive Chef of Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain and its signature restaurant, elements, Beau MacMillan inspires his staff with his passion for fresh ingredients. His ingenuity in the kitchen is stimulated by his belief that food should not be overworked, but rather appreciated for its simplicity and natural perfection. This philosophy is evident in Chef MacMillan’s innovative seasonal menus that focus on fresh, local ingredients procured from a network of artisans and organic farmers.

Chef MacMillan has cooked in some of America’s most distinguished kitchens. He hails from Plymouth, Massachusetts and is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. His culinary career began at the age of 16 when he secured a position at Crane Brook Tea Room in Carver, Massachusetts. Chef MacMillan spent a year under the tutelage of Chef Francios Demueloge. Inspired by this experience, he joined the brigade at La Vieille Maison in Boca Raton Florida, rising through the ranks to the position of Sous Chef. Drawn to the culinary scene on the West Coast, Chef MacMillan moved to Los Angeles where he held Sous Chef positions at the prestigious Hotel Bel Air, and later Shutters on the Beach inSanta Monica. He was recruited to Arizona in 1998 to develop the cuisine at The Ranch on Camelback, which later became Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain. Chef MacMillan and former Executive Chef Charles Wiley opened elements restaurant in March of 2001.

Now as executive chef, MacMillan’s innovation has brought elements national recognition and acclaim. In March 2006, Chef MacMillan was invited to The Food Network’s kitchen stadium to compete in an episode of the hit series, Iron Chef America. Chef MacMillan was pitted against Iron Chef Bobby Flay in “Battle American Kobe Beef.” Ultimately, Chef MacMillan’s cuisine reigned supreme, letting him claim victory over Flay.

In addition to his appearance on Iron Chef America, Chef MacMillan has cooked at The James Beard House and at Bon Appetit Magazine in New York, and regularly conducts cooking classes for the guests of Sanctuary. He is also the personal Chef for Wayne Gretzky and his family and has cooked for such personalities as President Bush, Britney Spears, U2, Michele Richard, Jacques Pepin and Michele Roux, Sr.


The Herb Box Catering + Events The Herb Box Catering Logo
7051 East 5th Avenue
Suite W
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
480.998.8355 – ext 4


Lancer Cateringlance02
Chef Jeff Adams
455 North Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, AZ 85008

Learn more about Chef Jeff Adams

Chef Jeff Adams comes to us from the high-end catering company Fabulous Foods and the highly acclaimed restaurant Gertrude’s at the Desert Botanical Gardens. Chef Jeff has over 35 years in the hospitality industry and grew up in a restaurant family. Jeff started his first cooking job when he was just fifteen years old where he was throwing pizzas and cooking Italian food at Lord Jim’s pizza parlor in central Phoenix.

At the tender age of 17, Jeff took on an 18 month apprenticeship program through the A.C.F. at the very prestigious Rockefeller’s Union Club in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.  Here he was able to work under certified Master Chef, Richard G. Tromposh, AAC.

Jeff continued to hone his craft at the Phoenix Country Club, Paradise Valley Country Club, The Buttes and he opened the Wrigley Mansion Club…just to name a few of the outstanding properties where he’s worked. Jeff became Executive Chef of Stouffer Cottonwoods Resort in Scottsdale at age of twenty-seven. Chef Jeff was second in command at the Hilton’s Flamingo Hotel and Casino for almost five years. He was also on the opening team of the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Chef Adams spent almost ten years working in some of the finest resorts and clubs in Sedona Arizona. Properties such as L’Auberge de Sedona, The Enchantment Resort and Spa and the very exclusive Seven Canyons Sedona. Jeff also attended the Culinary Institute of America Greystone in beautiful Napa Valley where he learned international cuisine and how to pair wine with food. It is clear that Chef Jeff Adams has an unparalleled passion for all that is culinary arts.


LON’s at the Hermosa InnLONS RZ Photo
Chef Jeremy Pacheco
5532 N. Palo Cristi Rd.
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Learn more about Chef Jeremy Pacheco

For Executive Chef Jeremy Pacheco, the farm-to-table movement is more than a trend; it’s in his DNA. His family’s Arizona roots go back nine generations, and he likes to boast that one of his great-great-uncles was the last sheriff of Tucson to do a hanging. Growing up on the family farm in Marana, farm-to-table was an everyday occurrence. For example, they would harvest sweet corn and white corn from the field and make fresh masa for tamales. Now, as a professional chef, Pacheco continues working with local farms, including his father’s where he has sourced durum wheat for LON’s house-made gnocchi.

The Art of the Farm
The LON’s menu reads “Artful American cuisine” and Pacheco brings an artful approach from the ground up. With his own half-acre organic garden just outside the kitchen, Pacheco grows an abundance of seasonal products: lettuce, pumpkins, arugula, basil, coriander, fennel, onions, peppermint, chiles, strawberries, English lavender, baby oak leaf, Bloomsdale spinach, mesclun, heirloom tomatoes, tomatillos, and various types of squash and melon. Lemon, orange and grapefruit from trees scattered throughout the Inn’s grounds provide fruit used in many of the dishes at LON’s and in signature cocktails at Last Drop at the Hermosa.

While the garden is a true labor of love for him, it’s also a natural training ground for his culinary staff. His goal is to instill in them a new-found connection to food which happens when they carefully and thoughtfully plant, water, weed and harvest. “There’s an intense sense of pride and accomplishment when we serve our own food to our guests,” explains Pacheco. “It just doesn’t get any fresher and more flavorful than this.”

When Chef Pacheco is not in the kitchen or his garden, he’s building relationships with Arizona farmers and purveyors—a favorite part of his job. He’s so committed to showcasing local products (80% of his produce is Arizona grown) that he also switched to buying the resort’s coffee from the Roastery of Cave Creek and tea from China Mist of Scottsdale.

The Hermosa Inn features many Arizona-made products from local farmers and purveyors including McClendon Select, Noble Breads, Crow’s Dairy, Queen Creek Olive Mill, Hayden Flour Mills, AZ Fine Swine and Duncan Trading Company. The wine list features an extensive variety of Arizona wine and Last Drop specialies in locally brewed craft brews, including house specialty Seven Wives Saison, which Chef Pacheco created in partnership with Sonoran Brewing.

The Art of Teaching
Not only does Pacheco’s garden serve as a classroom for his staff, but he also engages them in the menu development process, showing them how to take what they grow and create new dishes. He’s dedicated to mentoring and urges his team to “have fun because this is really hard work and you’ll go crazy if you take it too seriously.”

The Art of the Meal
Surrounded by the original art of Lon Megargee, cowboy artist and builder of the original Hermosa Inn in the 1930s, Pacheco is inspired to make his meals artful presentations. It all begins with the product and then he draws on the art of keeping things simple to highlight and showcase natural flavors.

Every dish is a work of art. From starters such as the sizzling Himalayan Salt Seared Ahi Tuna served on a natural salt rock so each guest can cook the tuna to their preference to entrees like the Pecan Grilled Filet Mignon or Pan Roasted Scottish Salmon. Pacheco also salutes the whimsical nature of Megargee’s art with desserts such as LON’s Signature Cowboy Candy Bar.

“We celebrate art year-round, from our Artist-in-Residence brunch and dinner series to our customized dinners in the underground wine cellar which are truly artistic creations for my whole team,” says Pacheco. The wine cellar also celebrates the legacy of Megargee, who had originally built an underground tunnel that he and his gambling buddies used as an escape route when the sheriff would stop by unannounced. Today, the cellar displays over 1,000 of the 5,000-bottle inventory and is a romantic venue for an intimate dinner for two or a celebration for up to twelve guests.

The Art of the Journey
In addition to working on the family farm, Pacheco’s first job off the farm was washing dishes at 16. Something inside him gravitated to cooking and he left the dirty dishes behind to work as a lead cook at the Sheraton El Conquistador in Tucson. It was here that Pacheco realized his newfound interest could be a career. He enrolled in the Scottsdale Culinary Institute and received a degree in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management.

Pacheco worked his way up from prep cook to chef de cuisine at The Phoenician’s Terrace Dining Room. After seven years, he was lured to Las Vegas to be chef de cuisine at Wynn’s SW Steakhouse and tournant chef for all Encore and Wynn properties. He was chef de cuisine at Society Cafe Encore, named one of the “Best New Restaurants in America” by Esquire magazine in 2009, and he won the 2008 “Vegas Uncorked Bon Appetit,” Iron Chef- inspired competition for master chefs of Las Vegas.

In 2010, Pacheco joined Hermosa Inn as Executive Chef, where he was finally able to marry his love of cooking with his farming roots. He returned to Las Vegas for a two-year stint as the executive chef of Society Café Encore/Wynn before returning to his home state and The Hermosa Inn in September 2015 to reprise the role of executive chef.

“The food scene in Arizona continues to flourish and I look forward to being part of that again as we take Lon’s culinary program to the next level,” said Pacheco. How does someone with so much going on possibly relax? By spending time with his wife and two sons, playing golf every now and then, and stepping back in to work the kitchen line several times a week to ground himself in the basics, like perfectly braising a piece of meat.


RA Sushi Bar RestaurantRA logo Color
411 S. Mill Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85281


Rusconi’s American KitchenRusconi’s American Kitchen
Chef Michael Rusconi
10637 N Tatum Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85028


Ruth’s Chris Steak House NEW Ruths Chris
Chef Eric Bickler
7001 N Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85253

Learn more about Chef Eric Bickler

“Fresh simple ingredients, it doesn’t have to be complicated to be part of the sizzle”

Eric found his passion for cooking as a child growing up on his great grandparents farm in Akron, Ohio. He would go into the garden and harvest fresh ingredients that the family would prepare for their feast each Sunday. These are the most enjoyable memories Eric has as a child. Eric has been involved in the restaurant business since he was 15 years old. He has worked for small privately owned diners to very large corporations such as The Cheesecake Factory. He has taken everything that he’s learned in life and in the kitchen to help move along his path as a culinary leader. Eric is now part of the Ruth’s Chris family and couldn’t be more proud of that. Over the year and 4 months that he has worked here, he has really learned and embraced the fact that great food does not have to be complicated. It has been an honor working with such amazing people with the same common goal in mind. Eric has been married for 16 years and has 2 beautiful children that keep him motivated to continue to move forward toward a bright future. His absolute favorite food is anything spicy or Cajun style. In his free time he spends time with his family, listens to a lot of music and tries to golf as much as possible.



Rendez-Zoo 2016 Beverage Sponsors

Caduceus CellarsCaduceus Cellars
MJ Keenan, Owner / Winemaker
158 Main Street
Jerome, AZ 86331

Learn more about MJ Keenan and Caduceus Cellars

Northern Arizona is truly a remarkable place. I scratched my head for years wondering why no one had attempted to grow grapes in what appeared to be the perfect climate. Harsh yet mystical. A survivors paradise. I theorized a series of hurdles left over from the days of prohibition. Perhaps that minor hiccup in our nations history stunted the development of our palate and thus veiled the potential of this region. It would take a deeper understanding for the grace, the magic, the alchemy that is wine for someone to recognize this raw frontier as a gold mine for a gifted wine making pioneer. Surely Max Schubert would have grinned and shook his head in bewilderment to see the red rocks of Sedona devoid of one single solitary vineyard. A crime. It only took me a few years of staring across my porch at Mingus Mountain while drinking a glass of Chateauneuf du Pape for the spell to take effect. And when it did, I decided then and there to plant a vineyard. 

Most of those I shared this vision with just sort of nodded and secretly hoped I would stay on my meds. But the few who truly recognize that look in my eye decided to ask the right question. They asked what kind of wine I intended to make. This question has a simple answer. My art and music has been described as “thick, dense, rich, complex, engaging, emotional, and spiritual,” by those who are fans. And an “acquired taste” for those kind others who are not. Arizona is “thick, dense, rich, complex, engaging, emotional, and spiritual,” as well as being an “acquired taste.” We are a match made in heaven and surely these qualities will be reflected in the wine that Arizona will present to us. My job now is to LISTEN, as if a medium, to every detail no matter how subtle and present her story unaltered. Wish me luck.

– MJ Keenan


Cellar 433Cellar 433
John McLoughlin, Winemaker / Owner
240 Hull Avenue
Jerome, AZ 86331

Learn more about John McLoughlin and Cellar 433

Arizona’s wine industry embodies ingenuity and innovation. Our Vigneron John McLoughlin doesn’t just “own a winery’, he strives to set the standard for AZ wine.

The Dragoon Mountain Vineyard near Willcox, AZ is meticulously attended to by John himself. Stark contrast between hot desert days and cool valley nights shape one of the world’s most unique growing regions in SE Arizona at 4300 feet.With over three decades experience from dirt to bottle, John McLoughlin’s creed has originated a family of wines ranging from easily approachable to richly esoteric. All are evocative of Arizona’s unique terroir and oblige the wine drinking pleasure of novice and connoisseur, alike.

Climate and soil studies show this specific region in Willcox, AZ to be similar to Ribera Del Duero, Spain, Southeastern Australia, and Southern France and is almost identical to Paso Robles, CA.

All grapes are sourced exclusively from our family’s vineyards in Willcox, AZ. I wholeheartedly champion Arizona wines and believe there are many exquisite secrets yet to be revealed. Dragoon Mountain Vineyard is committed to the practice of sustainable viticulture. Our vineyard philosophy is based on two core beliefs, minimal intrusion to the native environment and respecting the balance of the unique eco-systems that are located within.

~John McLoughlin


Kief-Joshua VineyardsKief-Joshua Vineyards
Kief Manning, CEO / Winemaker
370 Elgin Road
Elgin, AZ 85611

Learn more about Kief Manning and Kief-Joshua Vineyards

Kief grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona and first started making beer and wine in his closet while attending classes at Arizona State University.  When he finally made lemon wine from a tree in his backyard, it was so delicious that plans to start a vineyard in Arizona Wine Country were inevitable. From the moment he decided to open Kief-Joshua Vineyards, Kief immersed himself into every aspect of the business. His firsthand experience was complemented by an undergraduate degree in Wine Technology and Marketing and graduate degree in enology and viticulture at the University of Melbourne, both in Victoria, Australia.  Inspired by the dream to sustain his vineyard for hundreds of years, Kief is determined to grow vines that are virtually free of all pesticides and herbicides. He is and avid reader and is focusing his attention toward a holistic farming approach developed in the 1920s by the Austrian scientist-philosopher Rudolf Steiner. While this philosophy encompasses many principles of organic farming, such as the elimination of all chemicals, it goes further, requiring close attention to the varied forces of nature influencing the vine.  It also emphasizes a closed, self-sustaining ecosystem.

Kief-Joshua Vineyards is open daily from 11 am to 5 pm for wine tastings.  Private classes focusing on sensory evaluations, wine tasting 101, and food pairing are also available by appointment.  For more information, please visit KiefJoshuaVineyards.com.


Lightning Ridge CellarsLightning Ridge Cellars
Ann Roncone, Winemaker / Owner
2368 Highway 83
Elgin, AZ 85611


Pillsbury Wine CompanyPillsbury RZ clip
Sam Pillsbury, Winemaker / Owner
1012 N. Main Street
Cottonwood, AZ 86326

Learn more about Sam Pillsbury and Pillsbury Wine Company

Pillsbury Wine Company is the evolution of a Dream-Come-True project by NZ Film Director Sam Pillsbury. He has directed 25 movies in NZ and the US, was flown from NZ to Phoenix to shoot a pilot for Universal and fell in love with Arizona. Growing up in NZ Sam witnessed the phenomenon of growing classical wine grapes in unusual places. On a camping trip in Arizona thought he could try the same thing here. The location he picked was a high-altitude desert valley in Cochise County, 200 miles SE of Phoenix. This all came from a desire to get away from mass-produced ‘McDonalds’ wines and create a distinctive regional Boutique wine that was 100% Arizona and 100% original. He gambled that the high-altitude, endless sunshine, sandy loam and dry desert would make for a perfect Terroir. It worked.

He now farms sustainably on 100 acres 12 miles south of Willcox, where he grows 11 grape varieties, apples, pecans, and vegetables. There’s a Tasting Room at the Vineyard and another in Old Town Cottonwood.

James Molesworth of the Wine Spectator called him one of the ‘Rising Stars of the Southwest’, Phoenix Magazine has called him ‘Best Local Winemaker’, AZ Foothills Magazine ‘Best AZ Winery’, and the famed wine writer Jancis Robinson in her new book ‘American Wine’ writes he makes ‘some of Arizona’s finest wines.’

You can find the wines in the Tasting Rooms and stores and restaurants all over Arizona.