Delicious Inspiration: 2019 Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge


Click a photo to learn more about participating restaurants and their creative desserts.

For the sixth year in a row, chefs from some of the state’s most popular restaurants will use their culinary prowess to re-imagine one of the beloved flavors of Girl Scout Cookies — Do-Si-Dos, Samoas, Savannah Smiles, Tagalongs, Thin Mints and Trefoils — into a custom dessert menu item during the Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge.

Each restaurant will feature its dessert on their menu Feb. 1–28, with a portion of the proceeds from each dessert sold directly supporting Girl Scouting in Arizona.

Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) is thrilled that both Rusconi’s American Kitchen and The Thumb are taking part again. They’ve been with us for all six years and are major supporters as a result,” says Susan de Queljoe, senior associate of marketing and communications. “It’s also so inspiring to see Original Gravity, PNPK, ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho, The Herb Box and Lovecraft taking part since they are all either proud woman-owned businesses or have female chefs in the kitchen.”

First-time challengers this year include Babbo Italian Eatery, Jake’s Unlimited and The Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen.

In year’s past, the Dessert Challenge Champion was decided by dessert sales. This year, the Council is hosting a poll at

But beyond conceptualizing, creating and offering the desserts on their menus, this year the chefs are also partnering with the Girl Scouts on several enhanced elements of the challenge.

“Last year, we got the idea to have a few girls join us in the kitchen to see all the moving parts that goes into both running a restaurant and delivering food to the table,” says chef Lance Whipple of Proof at the Four Seasons Scottsdale Resort Troon North. “It was such a hit that we are hosting ‘Girl Scout Field Trips’ with some local troops this year to really get them excited about the art, math and science behind what we do. Maybe there are even a few future chefs in our mix!”

Similarly, Aioli Gourmet Burgers, ZuZu, PNPK and others will bring girls behind the scenes this cookie season. And several partners are helping troops to set up formal boothing stations outside their venues, allowing our girls to sell cookies in what is the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world: Girl Scout Cookie Season.

All the chefs hope not only to raise funds to support local Girl Scouting, but also to inspire home cooks across Arizona to buy an extra box or two this season to create their own desserts. Girl Scout Cookie season runs through March 3 this year. Locations of cookie booths can be found online at


Ten Days Of Delicious Culinary Exploration

Two times per year, the Arizona Restaurant Association offers Valley chefs the opportunity to showcase their creative culinary chops — and diners to savor their tasty creations — during its annual Spring and Winter Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW) events. The 10-day events offer three-course, prix-fixe menus (for $33 or $44 per person) to diners across the Valley and around the state and are a perfect opportunity to discover a new favorite dining spot or perhaps introduce friends to a tried-and-true eatery.

Participating restaurants are not only known for their exceptional cuisine, they also spare no expense to give diners an extraordinary culinary experience. One of Arizona Restaurant Week’s goals is to position Arizona as one of the top culinary destinations in the nation by increasing awareness of the more than 8,500 dining opportunities available as well as stimulate business and revenue for restaurants throughout the state.

“We are pleased to continue this dining tradition that has grown exponentially since we started 11 years ago,” says Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri. “As Arizona’s culinary scene continues to evolve and become recognized on a national level, we could not be more pleased to help showcase these amazing restaurants and give local diners an opportunity to explore new culinary experiences.”

Restaurants participating in the 2018 Spring Arizona Restaurant Week (May 18–27) will appeal to a diverse range of palates, and include Barrio Queen – Scottsdale, Beckett’s Table, Blue Coyote Cantina, Bourbon and Bones, Capital Grille, District American Kitchen and Wine Bar, Famous 48, Fat Ox, Southern Rail, The Clever Koi, The Gladly, Wally’s American Gastropub, ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho, among many others.

Diners can view a complete list of restaurants participating in Spring Restaurant Week online at Participating restaurant menus will be uploaded beginning May 1 and continually updated. And be sure to save the date for the 2018 Fall Restaurant Week, slated for September 21–30. Bon appétit!


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