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By Karen Hendricks, Festival PR/Marketing Director

 There is a lot “cooking” at the Gettysburg Festival these days.  Ok, poor pun aside, the culinary arts are alive and well in Pennsylvania, and Gettysburg will be the epicenter this summer, bringing together excellent chefs, outstanding agricultural products, and arguably the most creative and unique culinary events in the entire state.  The interwoven farm-to-table philosophy is one of the most popular culinary trends today.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Culinary Society, recognizes one outstanding Pennsylvania chef annually at the Gettysburg Festival, with the Governor’s Award for the Culinary Arts.  The basis for the award?  A chef, restaurant owner, partner or individual who employs this farm-to-table philosophy with artistic and expressive flair, while educating his or her diners and peers about the state’s rich agricultural industry.  

Nominations are now being accepted for the 3rd Annual Governor’s Award for the Culinary Arts, through the Department of Agriculture’s PA Preferred website or by calling Frank Jurbala at 717-783-8462.  For more information on the award visit http://www.papreferred.com/page/govaward.aspx

The 2009 award winner, Christopher O’Brien, is executive chef at the Hyeholde Restaurant in Moon Township, Allegheny County.  He explains what the award has meant to him personally:

The Governor’s award has reaffirmed my commitment to using local, farm-raised products in our restaurants.  It has also connected me with more local farmers, allowing me to support and showcase  their products.  It has been a personal passion of mine to use products from this great state of Pennsylvania.  I hope to put together a cookbook featuring PA’s farms and the recipes they have inspired me to create.”

Who will win the 2010 award?  Stay tuned….

In the meantime, check your calendars for this Saturday, May 22 and join us at Festival’s “Culinary Adventure” Fundraising Event.  Click here for more details, a salivating menu, and tickets.  There are a limited quantity of tickets still available!  The event is sponsored by one of our fine media partners, Susquehanna Style Magazine.

The Festival’s entire lineup of ten fantastic culinary events designed by former White House Chef Walter Scheib offers something for everyone’s tastebuds.  Among this amazing lineup is a PA-themed dinner set directly on a beautiful PA farm where the 2010 Governor’s Award for the Culinary Arts will be unveiled.  As Walter likes to say, “Some people like jazz, some people like the theater, some people like art, and so on and so on…. but EVERYONE like to eat!”  We are excited to share all the tantalizing “ingredients” for the Festival’s culinary events with you.  Click here to explore the entire culinary lineup complete with menus.  Cheers!