The COOK crew is still catching its collective breath a full 48 hours after the curtain dropped on this year’s Audi FEASTIVAL. The crown jewel of the city’s culinary event calendar, FEASTIVAL, now in its third year, raised a tremendous amount of support for the city’s Live Arts and Philly Fringe, a mission represented by the multiple arts patrons in the crowd of 950-plus and the talented performers who transformed Delaware Avenue’s Pier 9 into an absolute funhouse. Audrey Claire Taichman, who curates the event with Stephen Starr and Michael Solomonov, recently revealed that 2010′s inaugural FEASTIVAL was the inspiration for COOK itself. It’s not difficult to see why, considering the support, respect and camaraderie displayed by this year’s attendees.
A total of 85 of Philly’s best bars and restaurants set up shop at this year’s event, sponsored by Philly Mag/Foobooz PECO and the DRWC, pulling out every conceivable stop on their mission to feed the food-fixated crowd. Their epicurean enthusiasm was matched by the high-flying artists — Brian Sanders’ JUNK Dancers, Illstyle Peace + Productions and one-of-a-kind digital projections conceived by Tisch School of the Arts students kept energy levels sky-high — as well as the luminaries who took the FEASTIVAL stage. Former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, who served as the evening’s emcee, and Philly mayor Michael Nutter joined the FEASTIVAL curators in auctioning off several big-ticket culinary items to benefit Live Arts/Fringe, including two star-studded “ultimate dinner parties,” a barbecue hosted by Rendell and Solomonov and an Eagles Super Bowl package. All told, the evening collected an unbelievable $450,000 (!) to bolster the future of the arts in Philadelphia.
COOK photographer Yoni Nimrod did an incredible job capturing just a few of this year’s FEASTIVAL participants in action. Check out his handiwork after the jump.