The 12th Annual Edible Book Festival was held this year at the Common Ground Food Co-op in collaboration with The University of Illinois Library. Competitors made edible representations of their favorite books, and brought them to be judged along other entries. This was my first year in attendance and I was ready to discover all of the delectable edible art created by the talented foodies we have here in C-U.
At the beginning of the event there was a fun activity in which the kids in attendance made their own edible art out of fresh produce. It was wonderful to see all of the excitement and creativity pouring out of the kiddos as they worked on their edible masterpieces.
At the main event there were many intricate and delicious looking edible works of art to explore. The crowd in the hallway was thick. The happy festival goers wound around the table in wonder, sizing up the competition and looking for that special entry to vote for as People’s Choice winner. There were an abundance of creative entries and no two were alike. Some were funny, others were literal, but they all looked delicious. We have some extremely talented cooks and bakers here in our community. The competition was overseen by community judges, and this year they had kids on the judging panel. The judges selected all of the winners except for the coveted People Choice winner, that was decicion was up to the crowd.
After all of the entries were judged, it was time to wait and see who the lucky winners were. As the judges gathered the crowd encircled them, waiting anxiously to hear the finally tallies. The jovial conversation of the group was hushed as the announcement of the winners began.
Here are the winners from each category:
Based on a Children's Book/Best Series
Best Depiction of an Animated Character
3 Musket Ears
Best Entry for Early Readers/Picture Book
Elmer the Patchwork Elephant
Best Children’s Chapter Book
James and the Giant Peach
Rainbow Cake Room
Monet a Visit to Giverney
Best Depiction of a Classic
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Ring, the one cake to rule the world
Best Visual Presentation
The Art of the Peel
Best Use of Animal
Fifty Shades of Hay
The Wolves of Paris
Best Use of Cupcakes
Lime and Punishment
Best Depiction of Book That’s Also a Movie
Best Horror Entry
Darker Shade of Magic
Best Foreign Language Book
The Little Prince
J.R.R. Tolkien Books Meal
Best Pie Entry
Count of Monte Cristo
Best Historical Figures
The Noisy Paintbox
People’s Choice Winner
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!
Once the winners were announced and awards handed out, it was time to eat. The crowd, myself included, ate almost every entry in its entirety. The eating of the art was the very best part in my opinion. One of my favorite edible art entries was the winner of Most Interactive. The Tolkien inspired oat bread was slathered in fresh creamy honey butter, and the Hobbit-esque earthy mushroom stew was warm and comforting. I could smell the delicious savory sage as wafted up in the air. I ate so much of it I barely had room for all of the beautifully constructed cakes and cupcakes, but I managed somehow.
This festival was great for foodies to connect and was super family friendly. It’s definitely something that I’ll go to again, and next time I’ll bring my boys. Maybe I’ll even make an edible creation of my own to submit. What would you make if you could recreate your favorite book into edible art?
All Photos by Rebecca Wells