Writer Shoshana Leon

Photography Courtesy of Delight in the Desert and Hotel Valley Ho

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Phoenix area is bustling with great farmers markets and culinary events during most of the year. As summer temperatures rise, most markets close for the season and the event calendars slow down. Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale is offering culinary activities that both visitors and locals can enjoy—even on the hottest of summer days. 

Chefs + Farmers Market 

Last year, Hotel Valley Ho introduced the Chefs + Farmers Market series, an indoor market showcasing local chefs, suppliers, live music, sips and bites.

“We love collaborating with our local farmers, vendors and chef friends. I wanted to do something totally different from other restaurants and give locals something fun to do in the summertime,” said Hotel Valley Ho’s Executive Chef Russell LaCasce. “After toying around with ideas of how we could bring all of these elements together, I thought that an indoor farmers market was perfect.” 

This year, Hotel Valley Ho is hosting four indoor markets in June and July, each with a different theme, featuring fresh produce from local suppliers, spirit and wine tastings, live music and bites from Chef LaCasce and guest chefs, including Rene Andrade of Ghost Ranch in Tempe, Samantha Sanz of Talavera at the Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale and Matt Taylor of Mora Italian in Phoenix. 

“I created this series to support our outstanding local community of culinarians, small business owners and artisans, and to give them a platform to showcase their talents and products,” said Chef LaCasce. 

“Spearheaded by our team at ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho, the market series celebrates the best of the season with a one-of-a-kind indoor shopping experience. It’s a great occasion to bring out your friends and family, support local businesses, leave with some fresh produce, and enjoy live music and drinks. Each event will be unique, from the chefs and bites to the live music.”

The Hotel Valley Ho summer market also offers a refrigerated bag check, cash bar and a 25% off voucher to use at the hotel’s ZuZu restaurant. 

“People love connecting with local farmers and purveyors, and unfortunately that opportunity largely goes away in the Valley during the summer. We want to keep the farmers market spirit alive regardless of the temperature and allow the community to stick with their Saturday morning tradition and have something fun to look forward to over the weekend,” said Chef LaCasce.

Shake It Up

Nothing is better in the summertime than an ice-cold milkshake. Hotel Valley Ho’s decadent Show Stopper Shake features an array of sweet delights and a fun theme each month. Earlier this year, Hotel Valley Ho launched a Battle Freak Shake contest where people could enter their own Show Stopper Shake ideas. 

Attendees at the Chefs + Farmers Market will have the opportunity to taste some of the finalists’ shakes with samples featured at each market. The top shake at each market will be chosen by a combination of votes and guest chef judges. The winner will be selected during the final summer market July 13, and will be featured at ZuZu throughout the month of August.

June’s monthly shake creation is the tropical Dreamsicle Show Stopper Shake. Inspired by iconic Hawaiian entertainer Don Ho, the shake features vanilla ice cream, orange and guava, topped with an orange creamsicle, pineapple upside down cake, toasted macadamia nuts and a passion fruit tart.

Summer Dining Delights

In addition to the Chefs + Farmers Market series, Hotel Valley Ho offers culinary events throughout the summer. Every Sunday from 4 to 10 p.m., diners at ZuZu and the hotel lounge can enjoy Bottles + Bites, which includes a bottle of wine and two small plates for $35. 

“We are using the best ingredients of the season to serve up five off-menu small plates, changing weekly,” said Chef LaCasce.

The monthly Monday Night Chef’s Table dinner series, featuring four courses paired with beverages, continues through June and July. The June 10 dinner explores California chardonnay and white burgundy. The July 15 dinner features pairings from Oregon’s Penner-Ash Wine Cellars. 

June 15, diners decide a beer versus wine battle, with five courses paired with selections from Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Frog’s Leap Winery.

Although Arizona summers may be hot, there are plenty of options for refreshing indoor culinary fun at Hotel Valley Ho. For those who want to extend the culinary activities to a staycation, Hotel Valley Ho also offers great summer rates and specials.


Summer Fun at 

Hotel Valley Ho

June 10

6:30 p.m.

Monday Night Chef’s Table: California Chardonnay vs. White Burgundy


June 15

4 p.m.

Beer vs. Wine: Firestone Walker Brewing Company vs. Frog’s Leap Winery


June 22

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Chefs + Farmers Market Series: South of the Border

June 29

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Chefs + Farmers Market Series: Bada Boom

July 6

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Chefs + Farmers Market Series: Backyard Grillin’ and Chillin’

July 13

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Chefs + Farmers Market Series: Sweet Treats

July 15

6:30 p.m.

Monday Night Chef’s Table: Penner-Ash Wine Cellars


Hotel Valley Ho

6850 E. Main St., Scottsdale