Guest Editorial: James Beard Winner Shows Downtown Scottsdale’s Culinary Chops

By Recker McDowell

Charleen Badman is a bad-ass chef.  She also shows how legit the food scene is in Old Town and downtown Scottsdale.

The heart of Scottsdale is not just about the bar district, clubs and expensive shops and galleries.

Badman just won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southwest for her work at FnB Restaurant (7125 East Fifth Avenue).

The James Beard Awards are the Oscars for restaurants and foodies.

Badman’s achievement shows downtown Scottsdale is a serious foodie hub and destination that hits on various tastes and price points.

Downtown Scottsdale’s culinary options and appeal cuts across age groups, demographics and tastes.

FnB has an Arizona farm to table focused menu. Badman partners with Pavle Milic at the restaurant.

Other cool restaurants and food spots in Old Town also include Citizen Public House, Farm & Craft, The Montauk, Diego Pops and regional favorites such as Culinary Dropout, Olive & Ivy and Barrio Queen. There are plenty more.

There are also wine bars such as Merkin Vineyards and LDV Winery.

All that compares well to any other culinary hub in the Southwest. And it shows Old Town and downtown Scottsdale are way more than bars and clubs.