Phoenix chef creates Arizona-inspired dishes for Final Four games

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M Catering by Michael's will be designing the menu for the NCAA Final Four games in Glendale. 24 March 2017 [Source: M Catering by Michael's] M Catering by Michael's will be designing the menu for the NCAA Final Four games in Glendale. 24 March 2017 [Source: M Catering by Michael's]
Arizona-inspired desserts are always a hit.  24 March 2017 {Source: M Catering by Michael's] Arizona-inspired desserts are always a hit. 24 March 2017 {Source: M Catering by Michael's]
M Catering by Michael's.   24 March 2017 {Source: M Catering by Michael's] M Catering by Michael's. 24 March 2017 {Source: M Catering by Michael's]
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Valley catering company has the hefty task of feeding thousands of hungry basketball fans.

M Catering of North Phoenix, owned by Chef Michael DeMaria, was chosen to design a menu aimed at pleasing the palates of thousands visiting from all over the country for the NCAA Final Four games in Glendale.

His goal is to showcase the dynamic cuisine of Arizona.

"People think it's a No. 3 plate where you get a taco, a burrito and an enchilada. It's nothing like that," said DeMaria.

[Special section: Final Four in Phoenix]

Inside a massive kitchen, DeMaria crafted culinary masterpieces like tequila lemon shrimp over green chili grits. His dishes will be served at the VIP hospitality areas of the March Madness games and the music festival.

"Being part of the Final Four as a chef and doing this event is a fantastic feeling."

From DeMaria's BBQ Sonoran shrimp served on a stick, to his personal favorite, individual juevos rancheros topped with avocado lime crema, all of the meals are made with as many local ingredients as possible. Eggs are from Hickman Farms, and olive oil is from Queen Creek Olive Mill.

Food prep begins a couple weeks before the festivities start and doesn't end until minutes before it's served. It's a task that requires an army.

"Navy seals will hit the deck, with me as the general hopping out of the chopper, and we'll start pointing fingers and putting up buffets."

A staff of nearly 500 will have a hand in all of it.

"We are going to put out some great food. It means a ton to my team. We're excited."

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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