Archive for the ‘Educational’ Category

More Than a Tree is Growing in Brooklyn!

April 9, 2012

Celebrate spring with a trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Brooklyn Museum! The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is hosting a trip on Wednesday, May 23 from 8 am to 6 pm, and the fee ($110 for members, $120 for non-members) includes bus travel, entrance and tour fees, and snacks and wine.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden contains 52 acres of specialty garden areas, plant collections, and conservatories with more than 10,000 taxa of plants. The world-class collections and gardens include cherry trees, a Japanese hill and pond garden, a Shakespeare garden, and more. The Steinhardt Conservatory houses one of the oldest Bonsai collections in the country, as well as aquatic house, tropicals, orchids, and a desert collection.

The Brooklyn Museum, adjacent to the Botanic Garden, is the home of the collection left by Laura Barnes, the wife of Dr. Albert Barnes and founder of the horticulture program at the Arboretum of the Barnes Foundation. The Museum has amassed one of the largest and most diverse collections in the United States, ranging from the ancient to the contemporary and encompass virtually all the world’s principal cultures.

Limited to 36 participants, this day in Brooklyn promises to be a springtime delight. Click here to register, or contact Carol Dutill for more information.

Subaru Sponsors Springtime Festival

April 6, 2012

Can’t get to Washington, D.C. to see the cherry blossoms? Be awestruck with their beauty a little closer to home at the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia now through April 21. The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia hosts this event, which strives to encourage a better understanding of the cultural, social, and educational customs of Japan and the United States.

The Festival benefits the JASGP Community Tree Planting Project, an ongoing effort to beautify Philadelphia by planting and maintaining cherry trees in area parks. In the spring of 2007, the JASGP finished planting 1,000 cherry trees to supplement the 1,600 flowering trees donated by Japanese government as a gesture of friendship in 1926.

Be sure to keep an eye on the Festival’s schedule of events for when the PHS Plant One Million project will make an appearance. Subaru of America, a sponsor of the Philadelphia International Flower Show for more than 10 years, is the title sponsor of this event and we couldn’t be more proud.

Celebrate Spring with a Recipe from the Flower Show

March 30, 2012

Chef Sarah Fioroni, from Fattoria Poggio Alloro (Laurel Hill Farm) in Italy, showed us how to make this saffron risotto during her Flower Show culinary demonstration, sponsored by Organic Gardening. Subtly flavored and full of fresh vegetables, this dish is straight from her family’s organic farm/resort in the Tuscan hills.

Saffron Risotto with Spring Vegetables

Makes 8 servings

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup diced red onion
2 cups diced zucchini
2 cups sliced fresh asparagus spears, woody ends discarded
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cups water
4 cups vegetable broth
½ teaspoon saffron
4 cups Arborio rice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed, 14-inch sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is wilted and transparent, about five minutes. Add the zucchini and asparagus, stirring to blend well. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add ½ cup of water as vegetables are cooking. Combine another one cup of the water with the vegetable broth and saffron in a heavy-bottomed, three-quart saucepan and cook over medium heat until hot,  about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Stir the rice into the vegetable mixture. Increase heat to medium-high and sauté for one minute, then add 1⁄3 of the vegetable broth mixture. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice absorbs the broth. Add one cup of the water, and stir until it is absorbed. Continue to add broth and water, alternately, cooking and stirring, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid between each addition. When the rice becomes creamy, add the broth and water more sparingly, or the rice will become mushy. Cook until rice is creamy but still al dente, about 25 to 30 minutes total. Stir in the butter and scatter a little Parmesan cheese over the top, if desired. (Don’t add too much of the cheese, or it will overpower the delicious taste of the saffron.)

The Art of Flowers: PHS Teams Up with Museum

March 26, 2012

In a joint promotion with the 2012 Flower Show, the Philadelphia Museum of Art celebrated its current exhibit,”Van Gogh Up Close,” with “Eight Days of Van Gogh’s Flowers.”

From zinnias to roses to almond blossoms, the botanical paintings by post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh were featured on the Art Museum’s Facebook page, with a description of each plant and a brief history of each painting provided by Janet Evans, PHS librarian.

Looking at van Gogh’s Butterflies and Poppies (pictured above), Janet revealed that poppies were exhibited at a PHS meeting as early as 1834. In July 1889, almost one year before this work is thought to have been painted, van Gogh wrote to his sister Wilhelmina, “If you want to do as artists do, gaze upon the white and red poppies with the bluish leaves, with those buds raising themselves up on stems with gracious curves. The hours of trouble and battle will assuredly come and find us without our going to look for them.” Janet also suggested that if we want to grow our own poppies, they should be planted in well-drained soil that receives full sun.

Art and flowers: A truly inspirational combination! The “Van Gogh Up Close” exhibit is available for your enjoyment until May 6. Before you go, click here to read all “Eight Days of van Gogh’s Flowers.”

Who’s Cooking at the Flower Show March 9-11?

March 8, 2012

Things have been heating up at the free culinary demonstrations that are not only educational, but also entertaining! Show favorite, the great Chef Joseph Shilling and students from JNA Institute of Culinary Arts host and assist, respectively.

Click here to see the schedule and presentation titles. The impressive bios of our speakers are below.

Eugenia Bone is a journalist and food writer, as well as co-president of the New York Mycological Society. She has written four books, including the critically acclaimed, Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird and Wonderful World of Mushrooms. She is a frequent contributor to culinary magazines such as Saveur, Fine Cooking, The New York Times Magazine and Food & Wine.

One of the most recognized personalities in Philadelphia dining, Aimee Olexy truly understands what hospitality means. She managed several restaurants in Colorado and attended L’Universite du Vin in France before settling back in Philadelphia in 1999, where she embarked on a variety of ventures with the Starr Restaurant Organization. She is currently the owner of Talula’s Table, which was dubbed by as “The Toughest Table in America” because reservations must be made a year in advance. The New York Times praised the “handsome, deceptively complex and masterfully executed” food, likening the experience to a “spiritual retreat.” Talula’s Garden, which Olexy opened in partnership with Starr in April 2011, aims to capture identical sentiments. “I work a lot and I love it,” says Olexy. “My work is who I am—and that is the only way I know to live.”

Master Chef Joseph Poon is known for his Asian fusion cuisine. He prepares fresh meals with simple elegance—and a dash of adventure. From his quirky venue in Philadelphia’s Chinatown, he hosts private events, conducts “Wok ‘N Walk” tours of Philadelphia Chinatown, and teaches cooking classes. He also leads trips to China and participates in dozens of philanthropic events each year. He recently published an autobiographical cookbook, Life is Short…Cooking is Fun. His warmth and exuberance have earned him appearances on The Tonight Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Food Network’s The Best of… He is regularly featured on The 10 Show and on many television and radio shows. He has also been featured in Nation’s Restaurant News and many consumer magazines, as well as in newspapers from Philadelphia to New Orleans.

A third-generation restaurateur with more than 40 years of culinary experience, Chef Walter Staib began his career in Europe in some of the finest hotels and restaurants before coming to the United States. Chef Staib is currently the driving force behind one of the nation’s most unique dining establishments: Philadelphia’s City Tavern, a faithful recreation of an original eighteenth century tavern. His passion for culinary excellence has earned him many awards, including the prestigious Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole de la République Française in recognition of his dedication to the advancement of the restaurant industry and the image of France world-wide. In 1986, he was appointed Commandeur by the Association Internationale des Maîtres Conseils en Gastronomie Française and in 1987 was awarded the Silver Plate, the hospitality and restaurant industry’s highest honor. In 1995, he was honored as the first inductee into the Caribbean Culinary Hall of Fame in recognition of his pioneering work founding the Caribbean Culinary Federation. Mr. Staib serves as Ambassador to the Culinary Institute of America and in 1996, was also appointed the First Culinary Ambassador to the city of Philadelphia.

Mike Stollenwerk, chef and restaurateur, has rapidly become a respected key player in Philadelphia’s restaurant scene thanks to his innate culinary understanding, drive for innovation, and steadfast work ethic. After learning the intricacies of the Philly dining scene in the respected kitchens of Davio’s and Avenue B, he purchased Bella Vista’s Little Fish in 2007, and opened Fish in Rittenhouse Square in 2009, boasting a contemporary dining and bar space, an impressive wine list and, and an expertly crafted menu. Stollenwerk’s Fish has garnered recognition from The Philadelphia Inquirer, Food & Wine, and others. Philadelphia magazine named Fish “Best New Restaurant of 2010,” as well as naming Stollenwerk’s dish—Japanese Sea Bass—one of the “230 Best Dishes to Eat in Philly.”

Masterful in the kitchen, Guillermo Tellez has an impeccable 20-year restaurant résumé–from the Trotter empire in Chicago and Los Cabos, Mexico, to Philadelphia’s own celebrated Starr Restaurant Organization, where he was director of menu development for the brand and executive chef at Striped Bass. At his current restaurant, Square 1682, Tellez introduced a “new American” menu that thoughtfully jets from Asia to Mexico, then to India, and circles back home. Each dish is handcrafted using sustainable and organic ingredients, from local seasonal produce to free-range meats and ocean-friendly seafood.

Townsend Wentz is one of the true great culinary talents of Philadelphia. He’s equally comfortable crafting house-made charcuterie, expertly butchering animals, and is well versed in French technique, Spanish influences, and Italian specialties. An alum of The Fountain at the Four Seasons and Lacroix at The Rittenhouse, and executive chef at Twenty21, Wentz has also worked with London-based Chef Yvonnick Lalle in New York City and Connecticut. He currently brings his expertise to McCrossen’s Tavern.

Big thanks to Organic Gardening magazine for sponsoring the culinary room.

The Artistic Class Entries Amaze and Delight Show Audiences

March 6, 2012

While the large exhibits fascinate show-goers with their grandeur, it’s the relatively diminutive displays of the artistic classes that give us pause and require closer examination. The artistic classes include arrangements (pedestals, small and medium niches, miniature arrangements, galleria, and the festival of flowers), jewelry (made from dried plant material), pressed plants, and more.

Judged by a panel of distinguished gardeners and horticultural experts, these creations are submitted by individuals, families, garden clubs, and even elementary schoolchildren. Let’s look at a few of the entries.

Delicate dried orchids and leaves were combined to create this simple yet incredible necklace. All submissions in the jewelry category must be (or appear to be) wearable, and can be created from dried flowers, foliage, seeds, pods, peas, beans, corn, nuts (in or out of shells), grapevine twigs, basket reeds, and the like.

What is just as important as what is included is what’s not permitted, such as carved wood, manufactured materials (pasta, couscous, craft wood, toothpicks), clay, seashells, real or simulated gems, glitter, and byproducts of plants (pine sap, pine resin, pollen, and extracted components such as juice).

The Malu No (Reserved For…) entries are actually tablescapes in which fresh plant material must predominate and may include fruits or vegetables, dried treated plant material, or treated dried plant material.

About this entry, entitled “Tiny Bubbles,” the judges said, “The use of plant material to represent sea life is terrific. Theme development is totally complete, from the footprints to the pillows to the flowers.” You can almost hear Don Ho, can’t you?

The Moon Over the Pacific category features evening bags inspired by the ocean, the construction requirements for which are the same as for the jewelry. This crowd favorite that suggests waves, a deep blue ocean, and a colorful urchin was created with white peppercorns, basket reed, an air plant, and Ram’s head pod. One viewer was heard to exclaim, “I have the perfect outfit for that bag! Can I buy it after the Show?”

In the Youth Class–Hala-Hakiki (Pineapple) category of the pressed materials entries, the judges simply noted, “Perky people make us smile.” We couldn’t agree more and encourage you to wander through the aisles of the artistic classes.

Who’s Cooking at the Flower Show? March 6-8

March 5, 2012

The free culinary demonstrations at the Flower Show on March 6 – 8 run the gamut from food preservation techniques, to recipes from Ireland, to the use of salsas and sauces as flavor boosters, and more. Show favorite, the great Chef Joseph Shilling and students from JNA Institute of Culinary Arts will host and assist, respectively.

Click here to see the schedule and presentation titles. The impressive bios of our speakers are below.

Victoria von Biel is the new consulting food and wine editor for Organic Gardening magazine and former executive editor of Bon Appetit. She has studied cooking in both the United Kingdom and the United States and completed a post-graduate course in wine studies at the University of California. She has appeared as a judge on the Food Network’s Iron Chef and speaks frequently about food and travel writing.

Patrick McLarnon is the head chef at Francesca’s Restaurant in the four-star Brooks Hotel in Ireland. Sponsored by Tourism Ireland, Chef McLarnon will demonstrate the art of Irish cooking.

David Boyle is the executive chef at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse in Philadelphia. A graduate from the renowned Restaurant School in Philadelphia, Boyle won acclaim in France and Philly, including at Jake’s in Manayunk, where under his stewardship the restaurant won the first of what would become three consecutive Mobil Guide Four-Star Awards, and a “Best of Philly” Award for Best Brunch from Philadelphia Magazine. His food received a rating of 27 (out of 30) from Zagat for two years running, and a rare “three bells” rating from the discerning Philadelphia Inquirer food critic, Craig LaBan.

Dana Jacobi is known for creativity and innovation in recipes, food writing, and product development. Dana has written 10 bestselling cookbooks, including two ground-breaking cookbooks on soy, both honored by distinguished culinary awards. She writes a nationally syndicated newspaper column, Something Different, and has produced numerous magazine features. She was also the first food writer to work full-time online and to host a food chat-room. Dana has marketed her own specialty food line, created products, run a catering service, and served as spokesperson for companies and commodity boards.

For a complete list of culinary demonstrations, click here. Big thanks to Organic Gardening magazine for sponsoring the culinary room.

Fabulous Free Gardening Events at the Show!

March 4, 2012

Pumped up about orchids, improving your garden, or visiting Hawaii?

Did you know that there are FREE gardening lectures and presentations at the Flower Show, with topics ranging from flower arranging, container gardening, landscaping, gardening on your deck, pest control, Ikebana, growing orchids, and more. Much, much more.

No matter what your level of experience or special interest, there is something for you to learn and love!

The Flower Show is very proud to offer presentations from celebrated speakers including Phillip Watson, Melinda Myers, Rebecca Cole, Charlie Nardozzi, and Art Wolk.

You can plan your visit by checking out the schedule.

Also, we encourage you to get the Flower Show app so you can have the Show schedule in the palm of your hand! This is a brand new feature that is sure to help you make the most of your visit!

What a fun chance to take home some inspiration!

Like Project Runway? Iron Chef? We’ve Got the Designer’s Studio!

March 3, 2012

New in 2012, the Designer’s Studio invites the nation’s best floral designers to show their stuff live on stage at the Flower Show. Be inspired by the artistic process as assorted materials are assembled into art before your eyes.

For an extra thrill, the Studio will occasionally host head-to-head competitions among the design professionals. These live face-offs will provide the drama and suspense of a reality show and you, the Flower Show visitor, will vote to determine the winner. The power is in your hands!

Click here to consult the Designer’s Studio schedule.

Click here to get the Flower Show app in order to cast your vote.

Want to Have an Amazing Flower Show? There’s an App for That.

March 1, 2012

Be a Flower Show insider with everything you need to know at the tips of your fingers. The new, free Flower Show app is available on smartphones, tablets, and any device that has Internet connectivity.

With the app you can find out all about the Show, including exhibitor information, the list of Marketplace vendors, the schedule of presentations and performances, and parking advice—all in one easy-to-navigate interface. You’ll even be able to participate in real-time voting on the design competitions at the Designer’s Studio, making your visit truly interactive experience.

Whether you have an iPad, iPhone, Android, or use a laptop or desktop, the Flower Show app is for you! Click here for details and links.

%d bloggers like this: