The 11th annual Edible Book Festival, sponsored by the University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will be April 4. The campus and local communities are invited to experience this unique intersection of the book arts and cuisine.
This year’s festival takes place at the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright St., Champaign. Public viewing begins at 11:30 a.m., followed by a welcome and the local celebrity judges’ commentary at 12:15 p.m. Consumption of the festival entries begins at 12:45 p.m. Admission is free; cash donations for the Eastern Illinois Food Bank and book donations for Books for Prisoners will be accepted.
The edible art entries have a connection to books as shapes or content. Prizes will be awarded for the best culinary creations – which will be displayed, judged and consumed. “Tequila Mockingbird,” “Bride and Prejudice,” “Taming of the Stew” and “Blender’s Game” were among last year’s entries.
"The C-U Edible Book Festival promises to be a fun event for all ages. Rather than introducing a special award category this year, we’re leaving it up to our judges to come up with new categories on the spot if they wish,” said Sarah Christensen, visual resources and outreach specialist and co-coordinator of the festival. "We have a great panel this year and I can’t wait to see all the entries."
Judges will include Lindsey Spoden, a pastry chef at Bacaro; Chris and Peggy Huson, U. of I. alumni and Friends of the Library; and Sarah Buckman, outreach coordinator for Common Ground Co-op.
The local festival pays homage to the International Edible Book Festival. This annual event, held around April 1, celebrates the birthday of French gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), famous for his book “Physiologie du goût,” a witty meditation on food. This ephemeral global banquet allows anyone to preserve and discover unique bookish nourishments.
More information about the local festival is online.