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Culinary Festival

Chowing down in Scottsdale, Arizona

April 16, 1997
Web posted at: 12:00 a.m. EDT (0000 GMT)

(CNN) -- Food-lovers are hunkering down to five days of wining and dining in Arizona. The Scottsdale Culinary Festival enters its second day Wednesday, offering everything from the high-brow (a four-course Culinary Authors' Luncheon and a Wine Country Brunch) to the down-home (a Southwest Festival of Beers and a Gourmet Hamburger Cook-off).

"On a one to 10 scale, everything is a 10," says Ralph Andres, the coordinator of the festival's hundreds of eager volunteers. "This is the most wonderful place in the world to eat."

On Saturday and Sunday, visitors can spend the day strolling through Cooks and Corks and -- with a $20 advance ticket -- sample a "world of wines and exquisite foods." Or they can buy tasting coupons and head to the Great Arizona Picnic, featuring dozens of restaurants' creations. Andres calls it "a galaxy of gourmet delights."

One of the festival's most popular events is Le Tour Culinaire, a black-tie progressive dinner. Eight trolleys take participants to some of the area's finest restaurants. Two special guests ride along: a winemaker (not plying his craft at that particular moment, but explaining it) and a violinist.

For more information, call (602) 945-7193.

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