Behold the power of garlic, its pungent bulb able to keep both vampires and bland vegetable side dishes at bay. With the 14th annual Delray Beach Garlic Fest just around the corner, it's time to start fantasizing about all the ways in which allium sativum makes life more palatable. Oh, and online ticket sales end on Sunday, February 3, so that's something to keep in mind as well.
This year's festival is set for Friday, February 8, through Sunday, February 10, in downtown Delray Beach on North Swinton Avenue through to Old School Square. Tickets are $10 each day, although the price goes to $15 if you arrive after 6 p.m. The festival runs 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Competitors have been selected for the festival's popular Annual Garlic Chef Competition. Going up against reigning champion Chuck Gittleman (2011 and 2012 Garlic Chef) will be: Omar Montoya (The Office), Bruce Feingold (DaDa Restaurant and Lounge), Erick Miranda (Vic & Angelo's), and Blake Malatesta (50 Ocean). Competitions are on Saturday and Sunday when contestants face off one-on-one in hour-and-a-half segments using ingredients from identical baskets that contain a mystery item.
In addition to the show-downs -- and numerous vendors selling everything from garlic pizza to garlic ice cream -- there will be cooking demonstrations featuring Christopher Ranch corporate chef Michael Giletto and Top Chef alum Lindsay Autry.
Since no garlic festival would be complete without an "official breath freshener," volunteers will hand out samples of Extra Dessert Delights at the garlic kissing booth and elsewhere. (Helpful to know, in case you forget the breath mints in the car.)
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