April 4

Edible Book Festival unites food and book lovers



By Ivana Cheong

Inside Wallingford’s Good Shepherd Center, the Chapel space was filled to capacity in celebration of Seattle’s Edible Book Festival on Saturday, April 2. There were over 120 edible entries, crafted by book lovers of all ages, and about 250 people admired — then devoured — their creations.

“Most people tend to pun on a title, so I’m always happy when people don’t pun,” said Janet Fryberger, board president of the Seattle Center for Book Arts, the producer of the festival. “Personally, I love when people take something from a book and go beyond punning, because it’s a challenge to avoid that.”

All entries are eligible to win bronze, silver, and gold standings in five different categories: Most Delectably Appetizing, Most Pun-derful, Most Drop Dead Gorgeous, Best Young Edible Artist (K-12), and Best in Show, the only category voted on by attendants.

The Good Shepherd Center seems to be the perfect building to host the event. “Oh, it’s such a beautiful space. I adore it,” said Fryberger. “It’s got great history as well as great parking!”

The festival was started in 2000 in San Diego by Judith Hoffberg and Béatrice Coron to celebrate the birthday of French gastronome and author Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. Today, the event has spread to 20 countries, becoming a combined celebration of books and food. Fryberger launched in the Seattle festival seven years ago.

“I love that it’s a participatory festival; there is nothing passive about it,” said Fryberger. “The success is dependent on the public bringing entries, so it’s a democratic and open-ended process. It’s also a good way for kids to look into books and have fun with it.”

Here are this year’s winners, which the crowd consumed after their triumphs were announced:

Best in Show
Bronze: Book of Kells (below)
Silver: A Tight Place
Gold: Lord of the Fries (below)

Most Delectably Appetizing
Bronze: Heart Full of Pies
Silver: Huckleberry Sin
Gold: Unberryable Lightness of Being (below)

Most Pun-derful
Bronze: For Hummus the Bell Tolls
Silver: Jane Pear and Mr. Raw Cheddar
Gold: Fool of a Took (below)

Most Drop Dead Gorgeous
Bronze: Caramel Sutra (below)
Silver: Tempeh-st
Gold: F. Scott Fitzjello (below)

Best Young Edible Artist
Bronze: Harry Potter’s Bedside Table
Silver: Periodic Maple
Gold: Sea of Rolls (below)

Ivana Cheong is the My Wallingford intern and studies Communications at the University of Washington.

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