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Philly’s Fanciest Food Festival Goes Virtual This Year, With Cooking Demos and Delivery

The annual Feastival benefiting FringeArts goes online with three days of food and cocktail lessons

cardboard pizza box filled with indonesian dishes including rice, fried whole fish, and prawns
The “not pizza” box from Hardena, an Indonesian restaurant in South Philly.
Rachel Vigoda

Every fall for the past decade, Feastival, Philadelphia’s most elaborate food festival, drew crowds for dishes from the city’s most-talked-about chefs plus live music and artistic performances, all benefiting FringeArts, the organization that puts together Philly’s Fringe Festival. This year, with COVID-19 canceling in-person plans, the Fringe Festival is mostly virtual — and now Feastival is following suit, with five ticketed online events over three nights, October 8 to 11.

In addition to raising money for FringeArts, Feastival proceeds will go to the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association’s Hospitality Assistance Response of Pennsylvania fund, which collects donations to give grants to unemployed restaurant workers, and Cooking for the Culture, a collective that highlights Black chefs and works on projects like the Everybody Eats food drive (Everybody Eats pops up next on September 26 at Miles Mack Playground, 732 N. 36th Street. There are several ways to get involved.)

Tickets for Feastival events range from $50 to $125. Here’s the lineup:

“Not Pizza” Box Cooking Demonstration
Thursday, October 8, 7 p.m.
A couple of months ago, Diana Widjojo of Hardena started putting together pizza boxes packed with an ever-changing variety of Indonesian dishes, dubbing them “not pizza” boxes. For Feastival, she’ll join Ange Branca of Sate Kampar and Joncarl Lachman of Noord and Winkel for a discussion about “their experiences in the kitchen and how their cultures intersect.” Branca, who’s been hosting pop-ups since her restaurant closed, will lead a cooking demonstration and ticket holders will get a “not pizza” box filled with dishes from the three chefs, designed for three or four people to share. It can be picked up at Winkel in Washington Square West or delivered for a fee.

No Pants, No Problem Mixology Class
Thursday, October 8, 9 p.m.
Resa Mueller of Fishtown cocktail bar R&D will teach virtual attendees how to make three cocktails using Makers Mark and Southern Wine & Spirits products. Attendees will receive the ingredients, with enough to make three drinks — they can be picked up at the FringeArts building on the Delaware River waterfront, or delivered for a fee.

Carnaval Jujeño Cook-a-Long
Friday, October 9, 6 p.m.
Jezabel Careaga of Jezabel’s Cafe in West Philly plans to share the traditions of Carnaval in Northwest Argentina while teaching participants how to make Argentine empanadas. Ticket holders will get the ingredients along with an appetizer, a side dish, and a dessert, designed to serve two. They can be picked up at Jezabel’s Cafe or delivered for a fee.

Everybody Eats Philadelphia Cook-a-Long
Friday, October 9, 8 p.m.
Chefs Stephanie Willis, Aziza Young, Kurt Evans, Gregory Headen, and Malik Ali of Everybody Eats will show a short documentary about Philly, their work against food insecurity, and ways to join their movement, followed by an interactive cheesesteak cooking lesson. The ingredients for the cheesesteak, for two people, will be provided, and can be picked up at FringeArts or delivered for a fee.

The Hungry Games Cooking Competition
Sunday, October 11, at 7 p.m.
Inspired by the Food Network’s Chopped, Elijah Milligan of Cooking for the Culture will host a cooking competition where three chefs are tasked with using a mystery ingredient. Ticket holders will get a box of snacks to eat while they watch, which can be picked up at FringeArts or delivered for a fee.