Edible Book Festival

Mar 19, 2010

The 5th Annual Edible Book Festival will be held on April 6, 2010, at the University YMCA (1001 South Wright Street, Champaign).  The campus and local community are invited to experience this unique intersection of the book arts and cuisine.

Public viewing begins at 11:30 a.m., a welcome and the local celebrity judges’ commentary takes place at 12:15 p.m., and consumption of entries starts at 12:45 p.m.   Admission is free, but cash donations to the Eastern Illinois Food Bank will be appreciated.

Edible art entries have a connection to books as shapes or content.  Past entries have included Catsup in the Rye, Harry (Flower) Potter and the Order of the Cupcakes, The Malted Falcon, Thyme Machine, and The House of Seven Bagels.  Prizes are awarded for the best culinary creations—which are displayed, judged, and consumed.  UI Librarian Sue Searing, who coordinates the Festival, said, “We literally eat our words!”

Judges will include Larry Kanfer, fine art landscape photographer and owner of the Larry Kanfer Gallery, Champaign; Ronnie Kann, anthropologist and assistant director, La Casa Cultural Latina, University of Illinois; and Buffy Vance, sugar artist and owner of Madeline's Confectionary Arts Studio & Gallery, Urbana.

The festival is hosted by the University YMCA and the Know Your University Committee.  The University Library is sponsoring the event with additional support from its Strategic Communications and Marketing Committee.

The year’s festival is supporting the Big Read program, which features the book Sun, Stone, and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories, by adding a “taste of Mexico” prize category.

A separate Edible Book event for children will take place at the Urbana Free Library (210 West Green Street, Urbana) on April 11, 2010, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The 5th Annual Edible Books Festival at Illinois pays homage to the International Edible Books Festival.  This ephemeral global banquet annually celebrates the birthday of French gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), famous for his book Physiologie du goût—a witty meditation on food.

For more information about the 5th Annual Edible Book Festival, visit www.library.illinois.edu/ediblebooks/.

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