For each of the past 3 years, I have gone to the Book and the Cook Fair at the Convention Center and have enjoyed it immensely. From the cooking demonstrations to the various samples, it's the kind of place where I could hang out all day. This year the location was changed from Center City to the Adams Mark in Bala Cynwyd with the reason given that the Fair did not want to be tied down to Aramark's exclusive food contract with the Convention Center.
The problem was, however, that the Adams Mark is tiny compared to the Convention Center. It was crowded beyond belief. It reminded me of Smokey Joe's on Penn's campus at 11:30 on a Saturday night. It was so bad that there were times that I had to take charge to orchestrate "people gridlock" (i.e. "You take a step back, let him come through, then I'll turn and you can go that way.")
The samples were much more sparse than previous years. And, it was HOT as hell. So much so that the cheese and dips samples were downright dangerous. It's not fun sampling cheese that's been sitting out for 4 hours in an 85 degree room.
I tried to watch Bobby Flay give a demonstration but there were not enough chairs and it was 5 deep behind the seating area. Anyway, he only gave a 15 minute demonstration about how to make shrimp with cheese grits. Not too exciting.
I wanted to post this Saturday to convince others not to go on Sunday. It was an enormous waste of $40. Live and learn I guess. I won't go next year.
Anyone have a good experience? How?