Went to the Copper Chef Challenge last Sunday at Loew's Ventana, and overall, it was fun. The buffet food was as good as most buffets (hit-and-miss, mostly miss), but the desserts were way below par. However, it was a fun opportunity to meet other Tucson foodies, and to see cooking competition logistics (kitchen setup, cameras, lighting, timing, judging, etc.).
My husband, who is not a Chowhound, found it interesting how the chefs, camera people, announcers, judges, etc. made it all look so difficult compared to the FoodTV version - similar to how professional golfers/dancers make the game/dance look so easy, but how amateurs make it look so hard.
Jim Murphy of Kingfisher/Bluefin won again, but since we've had only mediocre meals at Bluefin, we were rooting for Jeff Fuld of Elle. We're not sure we'll go back next year, but it was worth attending once. Proceeds went to a good cause, though, so worth supporting.
Would like to hear from anyone who attended any of the other Tucson Culinary Festival events.