Tucked away in the heart of San Tan Valley, The Good Life Festival – a multi-event, season-long gathering at Encanterra Country Club – regularly puts a focus on food, wine and music.
This Saturday, the festival ups the ante by taking on a decidedly culinary theme, with the presence of celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations, gourmet food trucks, music, wine and beer tasting and a shopping extravaganza just in time for Valentine’s Day.
In addition to some of the most prominent chefs from the Valley’s gastronomic scene — James Porter, Aaron May and Julia Baker will grace the stage to share favorite recipes and cooking tips — Food Network stars Tyler Florence and Duff Goldman will also be on hand to highlight the day-long event.
Goldman, owner of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore and Los Angeles and host of the long-running Food Network series “Ace of Cakes” will be one of the festival’s highlights. Goldman said he plans to create one of his unique masterpiece cakes and will share tips and techniques.
“I will be creating a cake that is pretty intriguing. It will combine Valentine’s Day and Dia de los Muertos. The combination of the two themes overlap and resonate with me. Dia de los Muertos is all about the artistic expression of love — remembering those who have gone before us. Valentine’s Day is all about love, so the two mix well. The art and the baking let me express myself and pulls on my experience as a graffiti artist and as a professional chef.”
Goldman said that while he hasn’t been to San Tan Valley before, he is excited to be a part of the festival and interact with his Arizona fans.
“I am really inspired by my customers. It is an exciting time right now because consumers are so much smarter than they were five years ago,” he said. “Many chefs are going back to basics and there is this public demand for things that are simple, yet creative. It is really refreshing and challenging at the same time. I love it when someone in the audience asks me a question that I really have to take the time to think about.”
The festival will also feature an outdoor concert by “Bella Donna,” a Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac tribute band, an autograph session, food samplings and new home tours.
The Good Life Festival is 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at Encanterra Country Club, 36460 N. Encanterra Dr., San Tan Valley. General admission tickets are $20, while VIP tickets are $70. For more information call (888) 856-3727 or visit www.thegoodlifefest.com.