PA Farm Show Hosts Celebrity Chefs, Showcases PA Preferred™ Ingredients

HARRISBURG – An all-star lineup of chefs and local celebrities will entertain visitors at the 2015 Pennsylvania Farm Show as they create dishes from Pennsylvania-sourced products on the PA Preferred™ Culinary Connection Stage.

“Each year our region’s best chefs use the best in Pennsylvania-grown foods to prepare fantastic dishes for thousands of Farm Show visitors,” said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. “The atmosphere is fun, the chefs are entertaining and the food is delicious. Stop by the PA Preferred Culinary Connection and be inspired by what we can create from products grown and made here in Pennsylvania.”

Dishes this year are inspired by the theme Local Farmers, Local Chefs, Local foods.

Highlights on the PA Preferred Culinary Connection stage will include:

  • Saturday, Jan. 10, 1 p.m. – Thermador Chefs Challenge, where chefs will lead teams of local radio and television personalities in a challenge to create entrees that showcase PA Preferred products, cheered on by the Philly Phanatic, who will be available for photos;
  • Saturday, Jan.10, 4 p.m. – Josh Short, executive chef of Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar in Harrisburg, will prepare a caramelized onion, mushroom and goat cheese tart;
  • Sunday, Jan. 11, noon and 2 p.m. – Celebrity chef Aaron McCargo Jr., star of Food Network’s Big Daddy’s House, will prepare a spicy beef salad;
  • Monday, Jan. 12, 3 p.m. – Walter Staib, owner of Philadelphia’s City Tavern and Host of the Emmy Award-winning A Taste of History, will prepare French lentil salad;
  • Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2 p.m. –Pennsylvania First Lady Susan Corbett and Governor’s Residence Executive Chef Barry Crumlich whip up a maple rosemary lacquered pork tender;
  • Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2 p.m. – The PA Preferred Collegiate Beef Brawl, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Beef Council and Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, pits teams of students from Penn State and Delaware Valley College  competing in three rounds of a beef triathlon for the title of Pennsylvania Beef Champion;
  • Thursday, Jan. 15, 2 p.m.– Cassandra Callahan, executive pastry chef at Ciao! Bakery and BRICCO in Harrisburg will make French Apple Almond Tart;
  • Friday, Jan. 16, 2 p.m.– Christian DeLutis, chef at Troeg’s Brewery and Snack Bar in Hershey, will prepare potato charlotte with smoked salmon mousse and poached egg; and
  • Saturday, Jan. 17, 1 p.m.– Delilah Winder, director of the Center for Culinary Enterprises and author of Delilah’s Everyday Soul: Southern Cooking with Style will prepare Ah Ha Mac and Cheese.

The PA Preferred Culinary Connection stage, located in the Main Hall of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, features a unique theme every day, from apples to mushrooms, offering visitors ideas for enjoying the food produced in Pennsylvania. Samples of every dish will be offered to audience members and a Pennsylvania wine will be recommended for pairing.

The days’ themes are: first Saturday, Mushrooms; Sunday, Vegetables; Monday, Weis Markets; Tuesday, Pork; Wednesday, Beef and Veal; Thursday, Apples; Friday, Potatoes; second Saturday, Dairy.

Visitors can find inspiration in the wide variety of dishes being prepared on the stage, sample the prepared foods, then walk through the adjacent Pennsylvania Marketplace to find an array of items produced in the state available for sampling and purchase.

Products featured on stage are part of the PA Preferred program, the official brand of agriculture products made or grown in Pennsylvania.

“Watch for the blue keystone and gold checkmark of the PA Preferred logo to buy Pennsylvania products and support Pennsylvanians,” said Greig. “When you buy PA Preferred products, you help local farmers and keep jobs and money in Pennsylvania. It really does make a difference.”

The PA Preferred Culinary Connection is sponsored by Weis Markets, Thermador, Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, Anolon and the Pennsylvania Winery Association.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program provides additional funding for the PA Preferred Culinary Connection. The program enhances the visibility and marketability of fruit, vegetable, honey, maple syrup and tree nut products.

For a schedule of PA Preferred Culinary Connection events, including biographies and photos of chefs, visit and click on “PA Preferred Culinary Connection.” “Like” PA Preferred on Facebook and find information, pictures and videos about PA Preferred members.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors. Admission is free and parking is $10. For more information, visit


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