Evening of Food Stories to Highlight Eat Drink Read Write Festival Wednesday, October 7

Chef Ryan Champion of Hotbox at Parkside (right) participates in the Eat Drink Read Write Human Library event on October 6. At the event, chefs, restaurateurs, and food bloggers became "human books" to be "checked out" for a limited amount of time by people interested in learning about the food business. 

What: 2015 Eat Drink Read Write Festival
When: Wednesday, October 7–Friday, October 9, 2015
Where: Central Library, 2100 Park Place, downtown Birmingham (Wednesday, October 7, Friday, October 9), Vulcan Park & Museum, Thursday, October 8)
Details: Complete schedule online at www.bplonline.org/EatDrinkFest
Free Wednesday and Friday, Baked event is $15, buy tickets at http://baked.eventbrite.com

An evening of international food stories will highlight the second night of the 2015 Eat Drink Read Write festival taking place tonight, Wednesday, October 7, at the Central Library in downtown Birmingham.

From 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Central Library, attendees of the festival hosted by the Birmingham Public Library will gain knowledge on foods from around the globe from people of varied backgrounds and cultural traditions. The food memories will include a Mexican mother discussing making tamales, a talk about what family dinners are like in northeast India, and a Jewish family sharing love for celebrating the holidays with food.

Samples of foods featured in the stories will be served. Local artist and stand-up comic Christopher Davis will host the free event. “This event will be a great way to learn about international food, and to celebrate our food and various cultures here in Birmingham,” said Brandon C. Smith, the Eastwood Branch Library manager and coordinator of the 2015 Eat Drink Read Write festival.

Eat Drink Read Write is the inspiration of Haruyo Miyagawa, head of the Arts, Literature and Sports Department at the Central Library, and food blogger Shaun Chavis, who put their heads together to create a cultural event that highlights Birmingham’s growing notoriety as a dining destination, and raise awareness of food-related issues. This year’s Eat Drink Read Write festival, set up like a four-course meal, began with Tuesday’s Appetizer “Human Library” event and concludes with the “After Dinner Drinks”-style Bards & Brews event this Friday.

Here is a rundown of the remaining schedule of activities:

“Dessert Course” – Featuring Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, co-owners of BAKED in New York City
Thursday, October 8, presentation at 7:00 p.m., after party at 8:00 p.m., Vulcan Park & Museum, 1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham, tickets $15, available online at http://baked.eventbrite.com

Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, co-owners of two New York City bakeries in Manhattan and Brooklyn called BAKED, are the authors of four popular cookbooks: Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, Baked: Elements, Baked: Explorations, and Baked: Occasions. During the “Dessert Course,” Lewis and Poliafito will deliver a presentation they call “How Not to Build a Bakery,” discussing mistakes they made along their journey to success and the lucky breaks that have come their way. Semifinalists for the 2015 James Beard Foundation’s award for Outstanding Baker, Lewis and Poliafito have been featured on Oprah, Martha Stewart, and the Today Show.

“After Dinner Drinks” – Bards & Brews Poetry Slam
Friday, October 9, 6:30-9:00 p.m., Central Library, 2100 Park Place, free admission

The library’s popular Bards & Brews spoken word poetry and craft beer tasting event will close the four-day Eat Drink Read Write festival at the Central Library. Beer will be donated from a number of local breweries, including Cahaba Brewing, Good People Brewing, and Avondale Brewing. Voice Porter, a performance artist and experienced poetry slam emcee, will host the free evening event. Poets will compete in a slam for $500 in cash prizes while attendees sample beer, coffee, tea, and snacks.

The Eat Drink Read Write festival was made possible by contributions from main sponsors InSinkErator, the Protective Life Foundation, and the Birmingham Public Library Young Professionals. Other sponsors are Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network, Avondale Brewing Co., Friends of the Birmingham Public Library, Good People Brewing Co., Hotbox at Parkside, Lawson State Community College, Vizzini Farms Winery, What to Eat in Birmingham, and Alabama State Council on the Arts.