With all the hype surrounding the highly anticipated “Hunger Games” hitting theaters March 23, the timing could not be more perfect for this year’s installment of the Edible Book Festival. Artists, cooking enthusiasts and book lovers alike will come together for this international festival, where competitors bring to life their favorite stories using edible materials only.
Last year’s interpretation of “Hunger Games” consisted of a sandwich – with a bite taken out, of course – set on top of a game of Scrabble. That entry, along with a representation of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” – a wildly simplistic arrangement of a hot dog displayed in a beer stein – were fan favorites, and organizers are expecting even more creativity this when Edible Books takes over Collins Memorial Library on March 30.
Are you a fan of a good pun? Are you a whiz in the kitchen? Or are you an artist at heart? Then this festival is for you. “The only criteria is a sense of imagination, and the desire to have a little bit of fun,” said organizer Jane Carlin.
Carlin hopes to top last year’s 50 entries, and judges will be standing by to award winners in a variety of categories such as “Most Humorous,” “Most Creative,” “Most Beautiful,” “Most Literary,” “Most Effort” and more.
To enter, artists simply bring their creation to the library between 8-11 a.m. for judging, and return at 3:30 p.m. for the awards ceremony. This year’s judges include Melissa Flood, assistant director for dining services, William Jolly, professor of culinary arts at Clover Park Technical College, and Barbara Racine, manager of the Puget Sound Book Store.
No registration is necessary, and entry is free. For the first time this year, organizers are partnering with the Puget Sound Social Justice Department in a food drive to benefit St. Leo’s Food Connection. Attendees and contestants alike are encouraged to bring along a few cans of food to benefit St. Leo’s.
The Pi Beta Phi Fraternity will also be on hand to share information about its philanthropic and community service efforts. The fraternity takes a special interest in children’s literacy by partnering with the Literacy Foundation.
Carlin is already planning her own entry into the Edible Book Festival, with the goal to outdo her “The Paris Wife” creation from last year, which consisted of a display of croissants, brie and wine. “It was pretty no-frills,” she said, adding that she cannot reveal too much about this year’s submission, but hints that it may or may not have something to do with “The Wizard of Oz.”
All pieces will be on display throughout the day, so be sure to visit the library and nominate your favorite piece for the “People’s Choice Award.”
Collins Memorial Library is located at 1500 N. Warner St.