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One of Philly’s Top Food Fests Gets a Makeover This Year

Michael Solomonov and Nick Elmi are mixing it up for the ninth Feastival

The Feastival food fest at FringeArts includes live arts and music performances
Iluminada Photography

There’s always a lot of culinary star power at the annual FringeArts fundraiser Feastival, thanks to co-hosts Mike Solomonov, Nick Elmi, Stephen Starr, and Audrey Claire Taichman and a lineup of top local chefs. Usually, those chefs serve whatever they want, whether that’s a take on a dish from their restaurants or something new to offer the hungry crowd. But this year, there’s a Feastival assignment: The 60 participating chefs are being paired up and tasked with creating a dish that represents a specific Philly neighborhood.

The food festival, which integrates live arts and music performances in an indoor/outdoor event at FringeArts’ venue on the Delaware River (140 N. Columbus Boulevard), is September 27.

“For the ninth year, my co-host, Nick Elmi, and I wanted to push the creative envelope even further,” Solomonov said in a statement. The idea, he said, is to challenge chefs “to collaborate outside of their category and cuisine of expertise, to cook with their peers, to dream up something truly collaborative, and to use this as an opportunity to give guests an experience they won’t find anywhere else in Philly.” At $300 a pop ($450 for VIP), a unique experience is called for.

Audrey Claire Taichman and Mike Solomonov at Feastival in 2017
Iluminada Photography

The chef pairings haven’t been announced yet, but the teams will be working on Italian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Mexican dishes to rep South Philly; Caribbean, Indian, and African dishes for West Philly; Polish and Irish fare for Fishtown and Kensington; Russian, Jewish, and German food for Northeast Philly; and a mix of Asian cuisines for Chinatown. Each duo gets $500 to put toward buying ingredients for the dishes, which will be bigger this year — they’re being described as small plates, versus previous years’ bites.

Tickets aren’t on sale yet.

Dishes at Feastival 2017
Iluminada Photography