Local Purveyor Spotlight: Queen Creek Olive Mill
EVO Olive Oil

Here at EVO we believe that local ingredients are the best ingredients and we attempt to source as many of our ingredients from local or regional purveyors as possible. That’s why we have partnered with a handful of Arizona makers and growers. One of our partnerships is with Queen Creek Olive Mill.

About Queen Creek Olive Mill

Based in the East Valley, Queen Creek, The Olive Mill took root here in Arizona in the late 1990s with 1,000 olive trees planted on 100 acres and a farm shed. Co-owner, Masterblender and Olive Oil Sommelier, Perry Rhea set out to make extra virgin olive oil, right here in Arizona after moving to The Valley of the Sun with his family, including his four kids and wife with a baby on the way, from Detroit, Michigan after discovering Arizona’s rich farming potential and abundant olive trees.

Today, Queen Creek Olive Mill has over 7,000 olive trees on site and is currently growing 16 different varieties. The farm also serves as a unique agritourism experience for locals and travelers alike, as Queen Creek Olive Mill offers tours, tastings and other experiences and events.

What Makes Queen Creek Olive Mill Unique?

Aside from being the only olive mill in the Copper State, 100 percent of Queen Creek Olive Mill products are certified to International Olive Council standards. And, Perry and his wife Brenda are two of 20 olive oil sommeliers in the world, after earning their certifications in 2013.

Olive Oil and EVO

When it comes to Italian cooking, olive oil is essential. We’re lucky to have a partnership with Arizona’s only working olive oil farm and mill. This partnership ensures that we have the freshed olive oils possible and we’re happy to know that Queen Creek Olive Mill uses sustainable practices and grows their olive crop without the use of pesticides.

View our entire menu here.
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6 Ways to Enjoy National Seafood Month at EVO

Italian fare and seafood are a match made in culinary heaven, the two go hand-in-hand. And what better way to enjoy National Seafood Month than with our fresh takes on traditional Italian-inspired seafood cuisines? Celebrate with us throughout the month of June with these six dishes.

Lobster Carbonara
Not your traditional carbonara dish, our Lobster Carbonara is made with gnocchi, pork belly pancetta and sprinkled with parmesan and black pepper. Of course, we can’t forget the star of this dish, fresh lobster tail.

Spicy Mussels
Found on within the antipasti section of our menu, our spicy mussels are made with a Southern Italian twist. The Calabrian-style mussels are prepared in a bath of white wine, shallots, garlic, butter and served alongside parmesan truffle fries.

Calamari Diavolo
This classic Italian dish, served with ciabatta, features soft squid rings drenched in a delectable spicy Italian arrabbiata sauce, made from tomatoes, garlic and red chili peppers.

Seafood Cioppino
Flavors and textures combine in this dish. At EVO our Seafood Cioppino, or also referred to as “little soup” when translated to Italian, is comprised of surprising ingredients like squid ink pasta, and seafood favorites like shrimp, mussels, calamari, and our seasonal fish, all of which play well with tomato fume, a savory tomato broth, and flavorsome shallots.  

Shrimp Fettuccine
In this dish, jumbo shrimp are nestled nicely on a delicious bed of fettuccine, red bell pepper and pine nuts, all of which are complemented perfectly with Chef’s tasty pesto alfredo.

Squid Ink Chitarra  
Comprised of shrimp, mussels, calamari and seasoned with scallions, saffron butter and Calabrian chile, our Squid Ink Chitarra combines a medley of fresh, flavorful ingredients, best enjoyed during Seafood Month, or anytime, really.

View our entire menu here.

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5 Favorites from Our Brunch After Dark Menu

Each Sunday we turn your typical brunch upside down with our Brunch After Dark. At EVO, we’re open late. Our kitchen is open until 1:30am for your brunching pleasure. And just because it’s dark out shouldn’t mean you can’t get your favorite brunch standbys. These are our favorites.

Pork & Waffles
Move over chicken and waffles, there’s a new favorite in town. Vanilla-braised pork belly is layered atop fluffy brown butter pecan waffles to make this dish. This brunch favorite is drizzled with a sweet bourbon maple syrup and piled high with peach chutney. Is it dessert? Is it brunch? Whatever it is, it’s delicious.

Crunchy peanut butter, banana marshmallow fluff and house jam come together between two slices of country white bread to make this brunch staple. It’s our take on the traditional Monte Cristo, with a few tasty changes, of course. And that sweet sticky stuff? That’s the bourbon maple syrup.

Breakfast Pizza
Pizza is a good choice. No matter what time of day, which is why this Brunch After Dark dish is one of our favorites. Our breakfast pizza combines roasted tomatoes, dressed arugula, crispy fingerling potatoes and Arizona farm eggs which makes for a sharable, late night snack.

Caprese Benedict
This dish is our take on the classic eggs benedict with an Italian-inspired, EVO-twist. Two farm eggs are placed atop of buttermilk biscuits layered with crispy pancetta, tomato jam, basil, mozzarella and of course, hollandaise.

Pancake Fried Bacon Strips
Because everything is better fried. Fill up on our pancake fried bacon strips, made with house cured pork belly, pancake batter and sweet, sweet bourbon maple syrup. Add an egg to your order round out this brunch dish. All of our local eggs are served poached.

View the Brunch After Dark menu here.

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What is Farro, Anyway?

You’ve likely seen it on our menu. But what is it? Farro is a type of hulled-wheat that has been cultivated for centuries. In fact, Farro, translated in Italian, means ancient grains.

Farro Roots
This hulled-wheat originated in the Fertile Crescent centuries ago. Farro has been found the world-over, anywhere from the tombs of ancient Egyptian kings to Italy’s Rome -- historians have said that it is thought to have sustained the Roman Legions. But in recent years this ancient grain has experienced a resurgence in popularity both in the chef’s kitchen and at the grocery store.

Why Farro Is Suited for Italian Food
These ancient grains are packed with fiber, more than brown rice and quinoa, as well as vitamins and minerals including magnesium, iron and B3. Its nutty, almost cashew-like, and earthiness flavor makes it great for use in salads, soups, risottos, and sides of the Italian variety. At EVO, farro pairs nicely with our pistachio-crusted salmon.

Cooking with Farro
Whole grain farro can prove to be challenging to cook with. When preparing this grain at home, it is essential to soak your farro overnight before you begin the cooking process. This simple trick can make the farro softer, and more palatable. Without the overnight bath your grains will feel more have a palatableness that is more similar to popcorn kernels than pillowy, hearty grains at dinner. For a quicker cooking process, look for semipearled farro. In this variety, some of the bran has been removed with makes the grain softer, thus, easier to cook with.

Foods trends come and go. But this ancient grain has been around for centuries. Its rise in popularity today goes to show that it’s a solid cooking staple that will be around for many more years to come. How will you cook with this ancient grain?

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