Star-Studded Feastival a Great Success

The Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe held a benefit to end all benefits Wednesday night.

The star-studded Feastival was a huge success -- it's on track to raise over $200,000 for the performing arts organization -- with 500-plus attendees, 70 participating restaurants and bars, as well as appearances by Gov. Ed Rendell, Mayor Michael Nutter, and a host of live performers.

The sold-out event was held in a transformed warehouse at 5th and Fairmount Avenue, with smoke machines, a psychedelic lightshow, fire dancers, and gymnasts suspended from the ceiling.

While these elements were all very exciting to us, the event's pièce de résistance was a two-foot stack of pork cracklins.

If someone would tell us which genius was behind that impressive fried pig-skin topiary we'd be much obliged.

Chairpersons Stephen Starr (Buddakan), Mike Solomonov (Zahav), and Audrey Claire Taichman (Audrey Claire) presented an electric atmosphere for everyone in attendance, which included Marc Vetri (Osteria), Jose Garces (Amada), and Georges Perrier (Le Bec-Fin).

Beyond the appearances of these famous chefs, the real star was the food on the tables, and creative potables from our city's best mixologists. Our favorite dishes included the beef carpaccio from Barclay Prime and the foie gras offering from Matyson. The à la minute escargot station from Parc was a nice touch.

Can't wait for next year.

Collin Flatt is the Philadelphia food editor of, a new lifestyle franchise being launched by NBC Philadelphia later this year.

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