There was a while there when the always-stunning Philadelphia Flower Show (which opens this Saturday) was primarily a feast for the eyes, with the literally edible portion of the experience relegated to the snack bar or a lunchtime trip to Reading Terminal Market.
But in recent years, the show’s organizers have upped the edible ante. This year, farm-to-table produce (and plenty of edible flowers) will be showcased at a Garden to Table Studio where local and national chefs and a few farmers will be doing daily demos courtesy of Organic Gardening magazine.
Elissa Altman, James Beard Award-winning blogger and author of the upcoming Poor Man’s Feast (Chronicle Books, March 5), will be emceeing the events at the Studio. Poor Man’s Feast tells the story of how Altman met her true love, Susan, and made her way from a world of Périgord truffle and Pinot Noir dinner parties in Manhattan high rises to a simpler life of foraging, vegetable gardening and far-from-fussy cooking in Connecticut — annotated with the recipes from her transition from city to country living.
Altman will be welcoming the likes of Marc Vetri, Aimee Olexy of Talula’s Table and R2L’s David Stern, as well as a few former Top Chef contenders including Edward Lee and Ariane Duarte. Pastry chef Miche Bacher is coming down from Greenport, N.Y., to educate on the subject of edible flowers. And, in keeping with the “Brilliant!” theme of this year’s show, the Garden to Table Studio is bringing in two chefs who specialize in all things British: Robert Aikens of the Dandelion and The Whip Tavern’s Wyatt Lash.
The Pennsylvania Wine and Spirits Store is going to be setting up shop as well, pouring samples of Great British potables and hosting tastings. Here’s to hoping that the G&Ts and Pimm’s Cups will be flowing.