(Photo Courtesy of Callaghan Vineyards)

Dine Under the Stars & Brunch in a Vineyard this Memorial Day Weekend

May 8, 2024
By Matt Sterner

Tucson City of Gastronomy (TCOG) and three Southern Arizona wineries are teaming up on two exclusive food and wine experiences in the scenic grasslands southeast of Tucson on Memorial Day weekend.

Both the dinner and brunch are fundraisers for the non-profit Tucson City of Gastronomy and the Arizona Wine Growers Association

(Photo courtesy of Babocomari Ranch)

From 6 – 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, at the historic Babocomari Ranch near Elgin, there will be an evening of outdoor fine dining in a grove of towering cottonwood trees as the sun sets and the stars come out. Bus transportation to the dinner location is available, too.

Three of Tucson’s top chefs from the Gastronomic Union of Tucson will be cooking over a live fire to prepare a multi-course dinner highlighting southern Arizona’s seasonal flavors and featuring local, grass-fed, and aged Vera Earl Premium Beef.

The dinner will be prepared by Devon Sanner (chef and co-owner at Zio Peppe), Travis Peters (executive chef and co-owner of The Parish), and Obadiah Hindman (executive chef at Mountain Oyster Club).

The three chefs involved are also important figures in the local culinary scene. They are official Chef Ambassadors for Tucson’s UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation and have represented Tucson in other Cities of Gastronomy in China, Spain, and Mexico. They are also key members of the Gastronomic Union of Tucson, which Sanner and Hindman co-founded with Mat Cable, who will oversee the outdoor kitchens at the two events.

“When the owners of the three wineries approached us with the idea of an outdoor dinner in this beautiful setting, we knew we could bring some amazing chefs to create a truly memorable evening with a menu expressing southern Arizona’s food and wine terroir,” said Jonathan Mabry, Executive  Director of Tucson City of Gastronomy. “Then the team thought of adding the vineyard brunch since the chefs and some dinner guests are staying overnight in the area; a late morning  brunch also gives plenty of time for people to drive down from Tucson and elsewhere.”

Each course will be paired with wines from Callaghan Vineyards, Dos Cabezas Wineworks, and AZ Hops & Vines.

(Photo courtesy of Babocomari Ranch)

Kent Callaghan, Founder of Callaghan Vineyards and current president of the Arizona Wine Growers Association, noted the special significance of the dinner and its location. “This dinner highlights the connection between southern Arizona wine and southern Arizona cuisine,” he said. “The beautiful location for this dinner is also symbolic, as the Babocomari Ranch is the birthplace of the Arizona wine industry.”

Tickets are $175 per person and can be purchased online.

If you’re a Tucson Foodie Insider, you can get $25 off! Open the Tucson Foodie App to score the deal.

  • Hokkaido Scallop Ceviche – charred avocado / agua chiltepin / smoked trout roe
  • Suckling Pig & Pickle Taco – sweet and hot pickle pico/smoked chamoy/corn tortilla
  • Fire Roasted Marrow Toast – cilantro lime gremolata / fried caper / lard bread
    • Wine Pairings:
    • 2022 Bloom | AZ Hops & Vines | Rosé
    • 2022 Love Muffin | Callaghan Vineyards | White | Malvasia, PIcpoul Blanc
    • 3° Principrana | Dos Cabezas WineWorks | Sparkling White
  • Dirt Lady Sourdough – with butter
  • Elote Caesar Salad – grilled romaine / charred corn and anchovy dressing / tajin hominy corn nuts / queso cotija
  • Sonoran Shrimp & Grits mesquite shrimp / crispy tamaligot cake / sauce culichi
  • Grand Parrillada Ranchero – Vera Earl Ranch Beef strip and picanha / quail estilo Sinaloa / spiced duck and pork sausage / grilled and roasted vegetables / chiles toreados, salsas & tortillas
    • Wine Pairings:
    • 2021 Graeme | AZ Hops & Vines | Tempranillo
    • 2021 Aglianico | Callaghan Vineyards
    • 2021 Syrah | Dos Cabezas WineWorks
  • Grilled Fruits of the Season – Fiore di Capra chevre / whipped local honey / mesquite flour scone / Vista micro basil
    • Dessert wines:
    • 2023 Süb | AZ Hops & Vines | Gewurztraminer
    • 2019 Tannat, Graciano | Callaghan Vineyards
    • 2° Boxcar | Dos Cabezas WineWorks
(Photo courtesy of Callaghan Vineyards)

Nearby from 10 a.m. – noon on Sunday, May 26, under expansive shade and looking out Callaghan Vineyards, the same chefs will serve a creative brunch buffet with summertime wines from the three wineries.

Soak up the beautiful scenery and relax in the shade with friends and family in this charming vineyard setting!

Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased online.

If you’re a Tucson Foodie Insider, you can get $10 off! Open the Tucson Foodie App to score the deal.

  • Poached Egg Station – mushroom campanelle chilaquiles / pozole de puerco rojo / salsa macha / toast
  • Sonoran Succotash Salad – greens / petite peas / hominy / haricot verts / pepitas / sweet peppers / charred scallion vinaigrette
  • Brioche French Toast – foie gras ganache / pink peppercorn / St Germain
  • Chocolate Protein Mousse – assorted toppings and mix-ins
  • Buttermilk Butterscotch Pudding – banana chips / cocoa nibs / whipped cream
  • Callaghan Vineyards
    • Barrett’s Rosé Sparkling 2022
    • Love Muffin Dry Rosé 2022
  • Dos Cabezas
    • 2022 Carbonated Pink
    • 2022 Estrellano
  • AZ Hops and Vines
    • Süb 2023 Gewurztraminer
    • Novello Beaujolais style 2023 Montepulciano

Get your dinner tickets here! Get your brunch tickets here! Bus transportation from Tucson or Sonoita is available as an add-on. Learn more about Tucson City of Gastronomy at tucson.cityofgastronomy.org.

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