Check, Please! Arizona Festival 2016 Expands to Margaret T. Hance Park

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PHOENIX — (Jan. 19, 2016)

In its fourth year, Check, Please! Arizona Festival benefitting Arizona PBS touts a new downtown Phoenix location and welcomes a special guest, renowned Italian restaurateur and Emmy Award-winning public television personality Lidia Bastianich.

Sun., March 20, 2016, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Check, Please! Arizona Festival transforms the west end lawn of Margaret T. Hance Park (3rd Ave. and Culver St.), presenting foodies with a convergence of independent restaurants and Arizona culinary celebrities. Icing on the cake this year is the addition of public television celebrity Bastianich, who joins Southwest James Beard Award winner Chef Robert McGrath, host of Arizona PBS’ popular Emmy Award-winning “Check, Please! Arizona.

More than 20 of Arizona’s independent local restaurants will be onhand, offering bite-sized samples, craft beer and wine tastings. In addition, a panelist stage hosts Arizona’s James Beard Award winners, along with two cooking demonstration stages: one showcasing some of the restaurants most recently featured on the award-winning “Check, Please Arizona” television show; the other featuring beloved “Check, Please! Arizona” show veterans and more.

Best-selling cookbook author and TV personality Bastianich appears Saturdays on Arizona PBS with her namesake award-winning cooking shows “Lidia’s Kitchen” and “Lidia’s Italy.” She is chef/owner of four acclaimed New York City restaurants – Felidia, Becco, Esca and Del Posto, as well as Lidia’s Pittsburgh and Lidia’s Kansas City. Lidia also has a line of pastas and all natural sauces. Along with her son, Joe Bastianich, Mario Batali and Oscar Farinetti, the team opened Eataly, the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in New York City, Chicago and Sao Paolo, Brazil.

The festival will be adding several new restaurants to the lineup this year from “Check, Please!Arizona’s” six seasons on air, as well as featuring many returning favorites including:

  • Tarbell’s
  • Flavors of Louisiana
  • The Dhaba
  • Tryst Cafe
  • Eddie’s House
  • Giuseppes on 28th
  • Timo Wine Bar
  • Salerno’s
  • Rula Bula Tempe Irish Pub and Restaurant
  • Pig & Pickle
  • Cucina Tagliani
  • SanTan Brewing Company
  • The Salt Cellar

TICKETS: General admission advance tickets are $49 each through Feb. 29, and $59 from March 1 through March 19; tickets at the gate are $69. All tickets include food, wine and beer sampling as well as panel discussions, cooking demonstrations and guest lectures. NOTE: Last year, the event sold out.

SPONSORS & PARTNERS: Check, Please! ArizonaFestival is made possible by support from Hensley Beverage Company, Southern Wine & Spirits, SubZero-Wolf, Best Dental Care AZ, Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers, Whitfill Nursery, Lawns by Les, Linkous Group, Arizona PBS and R Entertainment.

About R Entertainment: R Entertainment is a national concert and event business development company, which produces and markets more than 200 dates a year. Private corporate gatherings such as the American Express Chairman’s Event, charity events such as Super Bowl XLIX Big Game Big Give, celebrations such as the Harvey Mackay 80th Birthday Event, noteworthy culinary spectacles such as Food & Wine Experience and Check, Please! Arizona Festival, and The Good Life Festival series by Shea Homes are part of the company portfolio. R Entertainment also books concert entertainment nationwide, working with artists such as Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, REO Speedwagon, Eli Young Band, Sinbad, The String Cheese Incident, The Band Perry, Fun., Primus, The Beach Boys, Queen + Paul Rodgers worldwide tour, and others. For latest event and concert dates, visit

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