Annual event returns to Philadelphia
By biconews On 22 Feb, 2000 At 05:00 AM | Categorized As Archives | With 0 Comments

By Nicole Foulke

If squinting through steamy glass in an attempt to choose between one entrée that makes you queasy and another that makes you nauseated is not your idea of a pleasant culinary experience, then perhaps you need a change of scenery. Perhaps you need to spend a day at Philadelphia’s the Book & the Cook Festival and Fair.

Held in the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 12th and Arch Streets, as well as many restaurants in the Philadelphia region, the annual event begins on Feb. 25 and runs through

March 5.

World renowned chefs such as Jacques Torres, Emeril Lagasse, George Perrier and Eileen Yin-Fei Lo will demonstrate their craft as numerous vendors offer samples and product information. Many local restaurants and organizations welcome the chefs into their restaurants, and sponsor

demonstrations.

The most accessible arena of the Book & the Cook is the Fair in the Convention Center, which takes place from Feb. 25 through Feb. 27. Here you will find all of the aforementioned activities, excluding certain demonstrations at local restaurants. This year cookbook authors like Ina Garten, owner of the famed Barefoot Contessa restaurant, will participate.

There will be opportunities to learn odd factoids at the American Agricultural Society booth, and the Pear Bureau people will tempt you with the the luscious pomes. You can observe cutlery demonstrations and construct little cheese organisms at the kiddie booth, if you so desire. Barnes & Noble sells cookbooks, and many of the authors are conveniently around to sign them.

The cooking stage demonstrations are always interesting and many chefs are kind enough to linger and answer questions. (And when the camera stops rolling you also see who transforms into a prima donna, and who keeps smiling.)

But shall we cut to the chase?

Blair’s Death Sauces & Spices, Canada Dry, Caviar Assouline, Dole, Fresh Samantha, Herr Foods, Inc., Ireland Tea & Coffee Company, Keebler, LeBus Bakery, Mrs. T’s Pierogie, Nabisco, Philadelphia Regional Produce Market, Poland Spring Water-The Perrier Group, Sun and Earth, Evian/Coke, Pepsi, FoodSource by Clemens - these booths look promising, and there shall be many more.

Think little sippy cups of birch beer (actual birch sap), bags of fresh fruit, sample bottles of all natural laundry soap, chocolates, local wines, pastries, warm sausages and crackers on which you spoon various concoctions: booth after booth of salsas, truffle oils, conserves, soft, pistachio-crusted cheeses and mustards.

Think exorbitantly long lines for such products as micro-batch ice creams and halved pierogies. And cheesecake.

But no matter, the hubbub, the opportunity to see this or nibble on that, the overwhelming enthusiasm for interesting, effective culinary practices have kept the Fair running for ten consecutive years.

If you would like more information on the Book & the Cook Festival and Fair, visit www.thebookandcook.com.

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