Archive for the ‘Show Information’ Category

The 2012 People’s Choice Award Goes to…

March 16, 2012

Flowers by David!

Visitors voted for their favorite exhibit this year using the new Flower Show app, and Flowers by David won their hearts and minds.

Flowers by David is the husband-and-wife team of David and Robin Heller from Langhorne, PA. Each year they amaze with their creative displays, and this year’s fountain installation adorned with tribal tattoos raised the bar even further.

Thanks for everyone who voted, and congratulations to Flowers by David!

A Tale of Two Michaels: The Landscaper and the Florist

March 9, 2012

The list of exhibitors at the Flower Show reads like a “Who’s Who” of the horticulture industry, and includes some of the area’s finest landscape architects and installers, as well as respected floral designers. Every visitor has a favorite, and here are two that exemplify the differences.

The exhibit created by award-winning Michael Bruce Florist is a whimsical compilation of three sand-filled islands, connected by pass-through arches of gently manipulated bamboo. Individual cut blooms have been draped like jeweled necklaces from carefully woven and suspended mats, interspersed with sparkling capiz shell medallions. Brightly colored orchids are the stars of this show, placed in tear drop-shaped vials that hang at eye level. Truly a display that’s not to be missed.

In the Michael Petrie’s Handmade Gardens display, gravity-defying stacks of lava rock punctuate this fantasy landscape inspired by the wind-carved stone formations and lunar-like landscape of the Garden of the Gods (Keahiakawelo). Legend has it that ancient Hawaiian gods created the high-desert area on the island of Lanai by dropping boulders from the sky. Winner of the “Showcase Garden Award,” the “”Mayor’s Trophy,” and “Best Achievement Blending Horticulture, Landscape, and Artistic Elements,” this display continues to wow visitors with its size, scale, and story.

Whether you want to appreciate a single, cut blossom or be enlightened by landscape possibilities, the Flower Show has inspirational moments for everyone!

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.

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.

What You Don’t Know About the Show

March 4, 2012

It’s opening day of the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show! Starting at 8 am today an eager group of early-birds have flocked to the Show floor to be the first among their friends to see “Hawaii: Islands of Aloha”!

As you tour the Show, you’ll be overwhelmed by the sights, sounds, and smells of all of the incredible displays, but have you ever wondered about an exhibit’s back story–the inspiration, construction details, and history? A chat with a few of the exhibitors yielded some fun factoids.

Robertson’s Flowers of Chestnut Hill has created a beach wedding tableau, complete with floral altar and graceful white arches. According to designer Eric Schellack, those arches may dissuade a superstitious visitor; they’re made from aluminum ladders!

He said that a small army of 20 people worked on the display, assembling more than 1,500 vases and arranging 2,000 stems shipped directly from Hawaii. Let’s hope that the power of the leis on the altar, a traditional symbol of good luck, overcomes the power of the ladders!

Flowers by David has been a favorite at the Show for 16 years. This year’s display was inspired by Hawaiian tribal tattoos, graphically expressed on large panels throughout the exhibit. Robin Heller, half of the husband-and-wife design team, commented that “When you say Hawaii, everyone gets such an instant, firm image, so it’s difficult to set yourself apart. We wanted to stand out, and the tattoos are what we thought of.” Complementing the graphics is a beautiful 15-foot fountain, the base of which hides seven powerful, yet silent, pumps. “We were encouraged to go higher,” says Robin. “Maybe next year.”

The American Institute of Floral Designer’s (AIFD) exhibit celebrates the Merrie Monarch Festival that honors the legacy left by King David Kalākaua. This mighty monarch inspired the perpetuation of Hawaiian traditions, native language, and the arts, including the hula dance.

Individual displays depict every type of hula from dancing for rain, to stop the rain, for fire, wind, water, and healing. AIFD designers from around the country have assembled to create the vignettes. “It’s a very literal interpretation,” says Ron Mulray, head designer, who added that more than 2,000 stems of anthuriums will be sculpted into the backdrop. If Ron is at the exhibit when you stop by, be sure to ask him about the history of the hula dance—he’s an expert!

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.

Who’s Cooking at the Flower Show? March 4 & 5

February 28, 2012

The free culinary demonstrations at the Flower Show promise to delight and educate audiences with a variety of international cuisines and cooking styles. The two chefs below will lead presentations on Sunday, March 4 and Monday, March 5. As always, the great Chef Joseph Shilling and wonderful students from JNA Institute of Culinary Arts will host and assist, respectively.

An inspiring and engaging personality, Chef Edward Lee will demonstrate his talents while exploring flavor combinations and creative vegetable dishes. A 2011 James Beard Finalist for Best Chef: Southwest, a winner on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America, and a competitor on Bravo TV’s Top Chef Texas, Lee is chef/owner of 610 Magnolia in Louisville. He draws inspiration from his Asian ancestry, his training in French kitchens, and his newly adopted hometown in the South.

In addition to cooking, Chef Lee is a contributing writer to Gastronomica, Organic Gardening, and other publications, and has written an upcoming cookbook of recipes and stories.

Chef Sarah Fioroni will bring a taste of Tuscany to the Culinary Room with her authentic farm-inspired recipes. A native of San Gimignano, Italy, she is the general manager and executive chef at Fattoria Poggio Alloro, her family’s organic farm/resort in the Tuscan hills.

Her book, A Family Farm in Tuscany: Recipes and Stories from Fattoria Poggio Alloro, will be released in April and chronicles the three generations of Fioronis who work on the farm using age-old practices of growing fruits, vegetables, and cereal crops such as wheat for pasta, olives for extra-virgin olive oil, and grapes for their award-winning wines. They also keep bees, produce saffron, and raise pigs, the basis of homemade prosciuttos and salamis.

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

Behind the Scenes at Pele’s Garden

February 23, 2012

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The likely highlight of this year’s Central Feature—Pele’s Garden—will whisk you away from chilly Philly to a tropical paradise with a mind-blowing, multi-dimensional sensory experience created by Klip TV, a cutting edge Philadelphia-based film and video special-effects shop.

Klip TV’s unique technology has been in high demand with several high-profile installations. The technology allows Klip to turn any surface into “a video canvas without distortion and with seamless integration.” Seriously, check out the videos on their website, you’ll be amazed.

For the Flower Show, Klip has turned the peaked roof of a standard-looking thatched hut into a presentation screen. The neighboring performance stage will allow live actors to interact with the images projected on the roof.

Pele’s Garden is named for Pele, the goddess of fire, lightning, wind, and volcanoes in ancient Hawaiian mythology. So who knows what may show up on the screen; I’d be ready for anything!

Many surprises await, but to give you a glimpse of how it all comes together, Sam Lemheney, Show designer, and Gary Radin of GMR Design visited the studios of Klip TV and brought back the behind-the-scenes photos above to share with you!

Sam’s Hawaiian Odyssey: Parting Thoughts

February 10, 2012

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As the 2012 Flower Show comes closer, I’ve been reflecting more on my fantastic trip to Hawaii. From the moment I stepped off the plane I was greeted with warmth and openness. This continued throughout my travels as strangers quickly became friends. So this is the “aloha spirit” I’d heard so much about!

Now I have the awesome responsibility of recreating this energy for everyone who comes to the 2012 Flower Show. I’ve done my best to hold true to the customs and culture of this amazing state; and I hope I make my new friends proud.

You’ll get to meet some of these wonderful people for yourself. We’re setting up a shopping and demonstration area called the “Hawaii Village.” Here you’ll see talented craftspeople at work and have the opportunity to take home items that speak to you. Be sure to ask the artisans questions; they take pride in their products—and you’ll see why.

I have to extend heartfelt thanks to the Hawaiian Tourism Authority for its endless insights throughout this process. I’ve learned so much and have gained memories that will last long after the Show closes. I also want to recognize the Hawaii Tropical Flower Council (HTFC), Hawaii Floriculture & Nursery Association (HFNA), Hawaii Florists & Shipper’s Association (HFSA), Hawaii Export Nursery Association (HENA), and Orchid Growers of Hawaii (OGOH)—all of whom will be represented on the Show floor this year.

So I guess that’s it. Thank you for reliving my journey with me. If you missed the previous posts, click here. And as they say in Hawaii: Mahalo!

Cuckoo for Kukui!

January 26, 2012

Here’s some insider knowledge for those who can’t wait for the Flower Show!

When you come to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, take a look at the leis worn by PHS staff.

Don’t expect pastel colors because these leis aren’t made from flowers. Instead you’ll be looking at the kukui nut.

Here is a photo of Aleurites moluccana in nature. Its native range is impossible to establish precisely because of early spread by humans, and the tree is now distributed throughout the New and Old World tropics.

It grows to a height of 49–82 ft, with wide-spreading or pendulous branches. The nut is round, 1.6–2.4 inches in diameter; the seed inside has a very hard seed coat and a high oil content, which can be used in candle-making.

Because the oil can burn for hours, the nut carries a spiritual meaning of light, hope, and renewal.

According to some sources we uncovered, the oil of the kukui nut has also been used medicinally by Hawaiians to help treat asthma, stomach aches, and swelling. It can also serve as tattoo dye.

A tiny nut sure can do a lot! Look for kukui necklaces when you come to the Flower Show.

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