The first Boston Food Fest was held at Government Center this past weekend. Unfortunately for all involved, three of the four days of the fest coincided with one of the worst heat waves the city has ever experienced. Though there were a handful of powerful fan misters set up for relief around the venue, the only shade available for the public was in a remote 21+ beer tent, and 12-ounce bottles of water cost $3. It was not a surprise then that when Eater visited the fest during each of the first three afternoons, there were never more than a few hundred attendees present at once. We were told numbers picked up in the evening, though it was clear in speaking with restaurateurs involved that they were disappointed by the lower turnouts the weather caused.
However, we stuck it out in the heat so you didn't have to (and as you'll see from the photo gallery below, it seems few of you did). Read on to meet the Todd English family, see Ming Tsai throw food at them, and behold the shortest Shake Shack line in history.
- No stranger to problems with fire, the small countertop stove on the demonstration stage did not provide enough heat for English's paella. It had to be moved by a team of culinary volunteers to an industrial burner provided on the fly from the team at Leg
- Jody Adams and Gordon Hamersley first worked together three decades ago at the Bostonian hotel's Seasons. For each other's cooking demonstrations at the fest, they served as sous chefs.
- While there was just enough of Adams's scallop and pesto ravioli to go around to the small crowd gathered for her demonstration, one front row guest was cruelly denied a taste.
- Shortest. Shake Shack. Line. Ever. With "feels like" temperatures north of 100 degrees at Logan, the land-locked and shadeless brick of Government Center kept day-time crowds very small.
- Estelle's chef Eric Gburski grills his "Hot as Hell" wings. Asked for his reaction to the slow start at the inaugural fest, owner Brian Poe tells Eater "There is an amazing lineup of chefs in this city and we do what we do to make it all happen, even if i
- Chef Lydia Shira of Scampo prepares her lobster and shrimp sausage. Like most of the chefs with tasting booths at the fest, she was personally present and serving food almost the entire time her booth was open.
- Chef/owner of Society on High (as well as Sorriso and Les Zygomates) serves fig tarts from pastry chef Kate Holowchik. "[The fest] gave us a great opportunity to get our name out there since Society on High is so new. The only downside was, of course, the
- "What did the buffalo parents say to their child before he went to college? Bye, son! Bi-son! Get it?" asked Ming Tsai of Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon. Apparently, we didn't, because here he is repeating it to the crew at Shake Shack. They also failed to r
- Two time Super Bowl winner and former Patriot Jarvis Green was at the fest for two days. Fans coming across the booth were surprised to learn that Green is a board member of Innovative Food and Biotechnology Group, a business that sells and promotes susta
- It's a family affair for oyster magnate and former owner of the again-shuttered Olives in Charlestown, Todd English. At his cooking demonstration, his children (pink aprons) handed out gazpacho popsicles to the crowd.
- While there are many in the Boston dining community who might want to throw something at Todd English, only Ming Tsai did (a potato roll, to be precise). No Narragansett was found at the scene.
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