Thanks to everyone who submitted entries for the FEASTIVAL ticket contest! Reading the submissions was kind of like going grocery shopping on an empty stomach…I wanted to eat everything that was mentioned on the page!
To eliminate any biases I might have had toward the submissions (my biggest problem is that I liked them ALL), I solicited the help of 3 judges to read all the entries blindly and give me their thoughts on who should win. Before I get to the winner…let’s meet our judges…
1. Mike Sendek – Mike and I have known each other a LONG time (you may remember him from his engagement session abroad). Mike is a very talented technical designer for the Walt Disney Company and has recently started doing some graphic design work for some of my clients! A fellow foodie, he supported my decision to pick a completely random dish at our first meal in Germany, and when it turned out to be boiled pork knuckle, he still helped me eat it.
2. Russell Mahoney – A very good friend of mine from college and extremely talented artist, cook and wine/beer maker (he made rhubarb wine last year that was TO DIE FOR!). He’s been involved in the Live Arts and Philly Fringe Festival so I thought he’d be a perfect judge for this! If Russell could live in Di Bruno Brothers, he would (I think he has tried).
3. Ed Tenuto – My dad. Thanks to him I got the foodie and photographer genes. He’s been a cop, media/public relations consultant, pastry shop owner and best of all fantastic cook. A beer snob, a wine maker for 25 years and an avid cook book collector, he has shown me how to make every meal an event. It’s not about eating to live, it’s about living to eat.
And now – on to the winner! *drum roll* Chris Mazzino! Chris’ entry showed a true passion for food and all of the judges agreed that it was deserving of the big prize! The entry is below. There are still some tickets available for FEASTIVAL but they are going fast, if you are interested in buying tickets, visit www.phillyfeastival.com.
Food, like air and water, is a necessity of life. Good food—no, great
food, however, takes this basic need to a whole different level.
Whether it be the simple comfort food of my youth, like creamy tomato
soup with crisp toast or saltines, or baked macaroni and cheese with
the burnished, tan skin of the cheese and milk on top keeping it warm
and moist—both homemade, of course—or one of the many ethnic dishes of
my hometown, when I indulge in a good meal or sweet treat, that basic
need in life is elevated to a level that only true foodie can
appreciate. In its simplest form, food excites me. The crunching of a
baby cucumber from my grandmother’s garden when I bite into it or
thick, rich panacotta made from fresh cream and honey create an
intimate experience between the palate and the food, almost like
making love. Besides its taste and appearance, I would have to say
that one of the best things I like about food is how it brings people
together. Read any good novel or watch any great movie and you will
see the communion between family and friends as they gather together
to eat. This bond has been the same for me all my life. From early
childhood through today, some of my most memorable experiences with
family and friends come from us spending time together eating simple,
delicious food. I suppose FEASTIVAL is much the same—good food, good
friends, and good experiences for the palate and the soul.