This Saturday, February 9th, is The Good Life Festival Presents: wine tasting ˜ food trucks ˜ celebrity chefs ˜ live music. Join Food Network Stars & Celebrity Chefs Tyler Florence and Duff Goldman for a day devoted to wine tasting, gourmet food trucks, celebrity chefs, live music, and Valentine’s gifts. Tickets are still available for purchase here:

The festival will include several celebrity chefs, including

  • Duff Goldman, Food Network star of smash hit Ace of Cakes
  • Tyler Florence, Food Network star of The Great Food Truck Race
  • Julia Baker, the Valley’s finest chocolatier and baker to the stars
  • Aaron May & James Porter, two of Phoenix’s hottest chefs
  • Ann Nolan, Culinary Training Chef for Jenn-Air Appliances

In honor of The Good Life Festival, Chef Ann Nolan and Chef Aaron May share their favorite recipes below.

Chicken Pot Stickers with Plum Sauce by Chef Ann Nolan

Makes about 40
1 package Gyoza/Pot sticker wrappers – round (Dynasty is one brand)

Place the following ingredients in a food processor:

  • 6-Green onions- remove root and 2 inches of green top and discard-cut remaining white and light green onion into 2 inch pieces.
  • 1/2 cup canned sliced water chestnuts-drained
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro-packed
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh grated ginger-using a microplane
  • 2 TBLS soy sauce
  • 1 TBLS hoisin sauce
  • 1 TBLS garlic chili sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. Chinese Five spice
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Turn on the food processor to pulse and blend until the ingredients are chopped very fine. Scrape the sides with a spatula to get all ingredients in bottom of processor bowl.

Take 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast meat-cut into 2 inch pieces

Remove the processor lid and add the cut-up chicken breast to the processor bowl with the already processed ingredients.

Turn on the food processor to pulse and blend until the ingredients are a medium grate, about the size of barley. DO NOT OVERPROCESS!


Place the following ingredients in a sauce pan and warm the ingredients so that the jam/jelly will melt. Whisk to combine ingredients. Set aside to cool.

  • 2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sherry wine- NOT SHERRY VINEGAR!
  • 4 fresh limes-juiced
  • 1 cup plum jelly or jam
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Ketchup
  • 1 TBLS garlic chili sauce
  • 2 TBLS corn starch
  • 2 cloves garlic-finely minced
  • 1/4 cup Fresh mint – minced for garnish

Fill a small bowl with water.

Lay 20 wontons on the counter. Place about 3 tsp. of chicken filling in the center of each wonton. (Using a pastry bag filled with the chicken mixture is an easy way to prepare the potstickers. Just fill bag and cut a quarter inch off the bottom of bag to make an opening.) Filling should look like a hill the size of a quarter. Now bring the edges of the wrapper up with your fingers and almost press together against the filling. The wonton will look like a beggar’s purse with some of the filling coming up the open top. With the filling being exposed, you can see when the meat is cooked. The filling will turn a white color when you are cooking them. Finish each task before you begin the next.

Place prepared wontons on a platter and cover with plastic wrap, to keep from drying out. Repeat the same process with the remaining wontons and filling.


Heat a large sauté pan that has a lid, on medium high. Cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of vegetable oil. Set the lid aside.

Place the wontons in the pan starting in the center of the pan and working in a circle to the outside of the pan. Cook the wontons until they are golden brown on the bottom.

Pour the Plum sauce over the pot stickers so the sauce is ••• of the way up the pot sticker. Place the lid on the pan so they can steam. Cook for about 4 minutes on medium high until the wontons are warmed through, the filling is white colored and the sauce is hot and thickened. Shaking the pan helps distribute the sauce over the pot stickers.

Remove pan from heat and place cooked pot stickers in serving bowl. Garnish pot stickers with mint. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting by Chef Aaron May

12-15 Servings Prep: 15 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling

Chocolate Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • Dash salt
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Add the water, oil, vanilla and vinegar; mix well (batter will be thin).

Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, salt, milk and vanilla;mix well. Spread over cake. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 12-15 servings.