World-Class cities need world-class culture. Feastival celebrates both our artistic and culinary scenes—two great economic engines that push Philadelphia forward.
~Richard Vague, FringeArts Board President
I couldn’t agree more. Philadelphia’s Feastival, has become a world-class celebration, and I’m a proud sponsor of this benefit for the FringeArts since 2011.
To see how far it has come from that first year I participated– to experience the best of the best of Philly chefs and all they had to offer, to marvel at the caliber of the performances and the artists, to get swept away in the energy of the crowd— I gotta tell ya, it was like someone gift-wrapped all my favorite things for me and put it under one big beautiful white tent, this past Thursday evening—Feastival 2016 was truly spectacular.
It’s been hailed as “the cultural event of the year” and “the best party in Philadelphia”!
Here’s where it all started for me:
2010–There’s a lovely woman from Pittsburgh, Mary Miller, creator and writer of the blog,“ The Fork and the Road,” and she came to Philly and took my tour, and wrote about me! A few months later, she called me and said,
“My daughter is part of the committee for this new fundraiser called (you guessed it) Feastival–I’m coming to Philly–would you want to go along with me?”
Of course I gave her an enthusiastic yes! I’m always up for new things–especially when it comes to food and the arts. A match made in heaven, in my humble opinion.
That was my first year (Feastival’s second), and it was small, but the food was PHENOMENAL. The turn out of the talent was unbelievable–thanks a lot to Audrey Claire. I knew Philly was on to something…especially, because at that time, it was really the beginning of the food renaissance in our city—our cuisine and restaurants were starting to take center stage–and people were starting to notice.
The year after it was blown out of the water—it was on the pier on Columbus and it had grown by leaps and bounds–live music, a red carpet—and it just keeps getting more fabulous and successful every, single year thanks to this year’s incredible co-hosts, Audrey Claire Taichman, Stephen Starr and Michael Solomonov and president of FringeArts, Nick Stuccio.
For those of us in the culinary arts or the performing arts in Philadelphia–this is OUR biggest celebration of the year. I have so many amazing Feastival memories!
I remember the year that Michael Solomonov opened Federal Donuts—at the end of the party he was saying goodbye to people and handing out donuts right outside of the Feastival tents—he pulled it one out and goes, “You wanna try a donut? ”
“You know that’s my weakness…” He dusted it in fresh sugar for me and I took one bite and just looked at him and said,
“…ok I’m in love with you now.” ha!
Through the years….
This year, Philly’s food scene really came out in full force…check out the list of restaurants that participated! It was held in the INCREDIBLE home of FringeArts, a historic pumping station for Philadelphia’s fire trucks that was renovated in 2013 into a state-of-the-arts performance center.
And I’ll tell you–the performances were STUNNING. The crowd was wowed by stiltwalkers, jugglers, contortionists, and aerialists from Circadium, America’s first higher-ed program for contemporary circus (how cool is that?) , the funk clowns Red 40& The Last Groovement (so groovy), Brian Sanders’ JUNK, and Juan Dimida.
Laura Eaton of Old City Collective, Jess Cortes from my Creative team at Taste 4 Travel, Najia of Be a Living Goddess, my awesome friend, Lorna Isen, and I all braved the storm to make this year–and boy was it worth it!
Here we are! A special thanks to these ladies for going on the ride with me this year!
And you guys….THE FOOD!!!!!!
Look at how excited I am to take my first bite…
This photo really captures the energy, movement and excitement of Feastival! It’s just a fast-paced foodie fantasy–an exhilarating ride for the senses. All of them.
Also: this video is AWESOME—MyNEWPhilly did such an amazing job capturing the evening! Enjoy!
As I said, it is such an honor to be a sponsor for this incredible fundraiser for the FringeArts–every year it just keeps getting better and better. There are so many different ways to support this benefit–I hope you’ll join me next year!