I happen to fit into all three categories, so naturally PA Gourmet is like a little bit of heaven to someone like me. You, too, can indulge in the deliciously fun cooking and entertaining expo, Nov. 9-10, at the York Expo Center Toyota Arena.
Cooking demos and wine tastings and celebrity guests, oh my! Where do I even begin? Friday night’s Grilling with Bacon session stars everyone’s favorite pork product as the BBQ Stu’s Barbecue Sauce team shows you how to think outside the bacon box. I’m also looking forward to the first annual Chopped PA competition featuring local chefs battling it out live on stage, much like one of my favorites TV shows. Meanwhile, you can tour the Susquehanna Ale Trail by tasting its locally made craft beers.
On Saturday, my main goal is to catch Chef Pippa Calland from BBC America’s Chef Race: UK vs. US and The Food Network’s Chopped as she cooks up a succulent veal dish. The So …You Think You Can Cook? contest will be going on at 1 p.m., with three amateur finalists creating tasty dishes using mystery ingredients all in just 20 minutes. There will also be a homemade pasta demonstration and Barcardi USA will host Mixology 101 to inspire the bartender in you.
Let’s not forget about the more than 200 exhibitors. Food and beverage samples, here I come! I don’t know about you, but I have a weakness for kitchen gadgets, and I just might get a bunch of holiday shopping done at the show. And I’ll be able to browse (and drool over) new kitchen ideas with vendors like Advanced Granite Solutions and Jenn-Air. Can you tell I’m excited?!
Advance tickets can be purchased online for $10 ($12 at the door) or at area Giant Food Stores locations. Kids 12 and under are free. Oh, and just between you and me, you can get $5 off your advance Friday Premiere Night ticket (regularly $45) by using coupon code GOURMET. Wink, wink. This exclusive VIP night will be a more upscale atmosphere, featuring live music and special tastings and pairings. You’ll also get a much coveted swag bag full of goodies and a souvenir wine glass, plus admission to PA Gourmet on Saturday. Um, yes, please!
Obviously PA Gourmet is more than your standard food and wine show — it’s an experience. Will I see you there?
Erica Streisfeld is the editor for custom publishing at Journal Multimedia, parent company of the Central Penn Business Journal, but she moonlights as a foodie and wino. Many people also know her as founder of the Harrisburg Cupcake Cup, a community cupcake competition that benefits the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, and owner of Little Ditty Pops. Follow her at @HbgFoodandWine.