A Day at the Garlic Festival

When my friend and colleague Marty Pollock called to ask if I would be a master of ceremonies along with him at last year’s Garlic Festival, there was only one answer: YOU BET! Like so many people, I have been grateful for the North Union Farmers Market since we moved here 14 years ago. I enjoy Saturday mornings there with family and friends, but even more I appreciate how the presence of such a high-quality market elevates our taste and increases access to local, fresh, delicious food throughout our community.

Gratitude would have been motivation enough, but then there is the fact that being an emcee at a food festival is my dream job. I love to cook, enjoy being in front of a crowd and I studied chemistry. Here was my “Alton Brown” moment! Furthermore, what foodie doesn’t love garlic?

So, you can imagine my thrill last year at getting to introduce chefs, explain dishes and work the crowd under the big tent, amid the smells and tastes of mouthwatering food. We had the privilege of moderating a variety of events, including cooking competitions and demos. We loved highlighting our talented local chefs and their creative food. Although the entire afternoon was a blast, my favorite time was spent in the demo kitchen with the three sisters from La Campagna: Carmella, Marie and Justine. The whole event was a classic Northeast Ohio occasion—high quality, humbly and humorously delivered—brought to us by the farmers market. The 2012 Garlic Festival should be even better. Join in the fun on September 8 and 9 at Shaker Square. For more information visitClevelandGarlicFestival.org.