Chef Audrey Claire, Feastival Co-Host, and Chef Jacquie

Chef Audrey Claire, Feastival Co-Host, and Chef Jacquie

FEASTIVAL is an annual fundraiser benefiting Philly Fringe and the Arts Programs; the proceeds support local independent live arts performers. It is home to us chefs too, on the cutting edge, if you will…Pictured at left are me with Chef Audrey Claire, Feastival Co-Host. Chefs just want to have fun!

This event gets better and better every year! Taste 4 Travel is a proud sponsor and I was thrilled to be part of the FEASTIVAL team this year—thanks Joanne for making it so easy!

What a tremendous entrance to the event, with “Strange Fruit” from Australia dancing on poles high above the crowd. One of the couples, while dipping, almost touched the ground—scintillating!

When you walk into FEASTIVAL, all of your senses come alive; you are among the best in their field, in both food and entertainment! I loved the feel of FEASTIVAL this year, everything from the sexy music to the performers dancing the old way, cheek to cheek as a couple! I heard Chef Audrey Claire had a lot to do with picking the music—great job!

Chef Joe Cicala and Chef Jacquie

Chef Joe Cicala and Chef Jacquie

After socializing, the eating frenzy began! After all, with 75 of the City’s best chefs “in da house,” you know we were going to eat well! My first stops are always to see my buddies, the chefs who are partners in my culinary tours; beginning with my Abruzzesse “paesano” Chef Joe Cicala of Le Virtu. His dish was traditional Porchetta, the skin was paper think and crispy, the meat succulent and well seasoned.

I was also happy to see Chef Lynn Rinaldi of Paradiso and Izumi restaurants participating this year! Leave it up to a South Philly Italian chef to figure out how to incorporate “grappa” into a Continental dish: Grappa cured Salmon with crème fraiche.

My favorite culinary couple “Chefs Lee Styer and Jessie Prawlucki” of Fond and Belle’s Cakery, served up Shrimp ceviche and cucumbers, followed by a malted milk chocolate and peanut mousse parfait—a perfect pair!

Sarah from Capogiro lured me with Coconut gelato…how did she know it’s one of my favorites? She was also toting other flavors in her portable freezer, like blackberry and salted caramel. Is it any wonder why they were voted #1 Gelato in the world by National Geographic!

Chef Jacquie tries tongue tacos

Chef Jacquie tries tongue tacos

I love to try new things, and this year I tried thin sliced tongue tacos…say that 5x quickly! While speaking with the team at Lotus, they convinced me to try one. All I can say is “praise cheeses” and “ham-aluliah!” Chef Ryan cured the tongue like corned beef; 10 days in brine—lots of care went into making this dish. I also met Courtney, owner of Lotus and Farmer’s Road Drive-thru. My prayers have been answered: Farm fresh, fast food drive-thru…how lucky are those folks in Chadds Ford? They make everything from French toast sticks to kid’s bento boxes. I will be paying a visit soon and will keep you posted!

One of my favorite stops is Marigold Kitchen; it’s amazing what Chef Robert Halpern can do with Foie Gras. This year he astounded us with Foie Gras and peach push-up pops…whimsical and delicious!

Are you “Hungry for more?” Unfortunately, you will have to wait until next year—this year we had over 850 guests! We need a bigger Pier!

Check out my Photo Gallery for photos from this year’s FEASTIVAL.

View a recap video from this year’s FEASTIVAL.

In the meantime, you can meet many of these amazing culinary legends when you take a “Taste 4 Travel Tour” of Philly with me, Chef Jacquie! Contact me today set up your tour!