In its third year, Highwood's Garlic Fest attracted waves of people with the smell of garlic wafting through town on Wednesday, August 14th from 4-9pm. Garlic Fest is a celebration of the ever-popular flavor of garlic, known for its culinary and medicinal purposes. Attendees from all over came to sample a variety of garlic creations, from out-of-the-ordinary garlic ice cream, cookies, cakes, chocolates, Bloody Marys and Garlic-Ritas, to the more traditional savory options of seafood, pastas, sauces, soups, dips, breads and butters.
This year's "Best Sweet Garlic Creation" went to Maryann's Sweet Treats & Edible Art once again for garlic-inspired custom cake pops. The Bent Fork Bakery won the "Best Savory Garlic Creation" with an 'everything' shortbread sandwich rolled in sesame and poppy seeds, garlic and cracked pepper and filled with an aromatic boursin herb butter cream.
New this year, Garlic Fest welcomed a second competition judged by award winning Garlic Chef, Chicago's own Alan Lake, who is a three-time winner of the Delray Beach Garlic Festival's Professional Chef Competition. Author of The Garlic Manifesto, Chef Lake was on-site to weigh in on the vendors' finest garlic creations. Chef Lake also had a booth set up where he shared his garlic stories, recipes, tips and garlic posters to autograph.
Chef Lake's winning choices were: 2012 Garlic Queen Susie Tingle's black chocolate garlic bomb, The Toadstool Pub's garlic Bloody Mary, and The Bent Fork Bakery's Caramelized onion and roasted garlic pepper tarts with a cracked peppercorn crust.
The first ever Highwood Garlic Princess was crowned, Nora Blount, a 10-year-old from Highwood. Highwood also crowned its third Garlic Queen. 2012 Garlic Queen, Susie Tingle, passed down bragging rights along with the garlic tiara and cape down to 33-year-old Julie Brugioni. The 2013 winner grew up in Highwood, attended Highland Park High School, and graduated from Northern Illinois University. As a first generation Italian American, garlic was always heavily used in her household growing up. Brugioni owns The Silk Thumb in Highland Park, a floral shop with a modern twist on silk floral design for homes, businesses, and special events. Judging was based on the candidates' speech (25%), appearance (25%), and audience applause (50%).
"I'm thrilled to be Highwood's new Garlic Queen!" says Brugioni. "I've lived in Highwood most of my life and have never seen it so brilliant. I look forward to being apart of the upcoming festivals, farmers markets, and best of all, the Great Pumpkin Fest."
A special thank you to evening emcee, radio personality and co-anchor of the WBBM Noon Business Hour, Sherman Kaplan, Garlic Chef Alan Lake for judging and announcing the garlic winners, and Jordan Joseph Encore for sponsoring the Garlic Queen and Garlic Princess contests.
For more information on Garlic Fest, please visit http://celebratehighwood.com/garlic.html, call 847.432.6000, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE HIGHWOOD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Highwood Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting and improving the business community in Highwood, Illinois. The Chamber continues to improve the unique and vibrant city through special events, cultivating new business, and implementing successful business strategies. Known as a "regional chamber", Highwood provides businesses from all over Illinois and Wisconsin with valuable networking opportunities. 2013 marks the 50th anniversary for the Highwood Chamber.
The Highwood Chamber of Commerce is located at 445 Sheridan Road, with a mailing address of P.O. Box 305, Highwood, IL 60040. For more information, please visit www.highwoodchamberofcommerce.com, www.celebratehighwood.com, or call 847.433.2100.