June 5, 2012 |

Hometown-Homegrown Food Expo Saturday, June 23 at History Center

The Senator John Heinz History Center and Good Taste! Pittsburgh have partnered to present Hometown–Homegrown®, a fun and flavorful food expo at the History Center to celebrate the region's passion for food on Sat., June 23, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Visitors to Hometown–Homegrown can sample a delicious assortment of foods from nearly 50 local vendors representing the best of the Burgh's neighborhoods, including several Strip District eateries, and swap recipes with the region's culinary experts.

Featured vendors include Pittsburgh staples like Schneider's Dairy, a family-owned business that has served the region since 1935, and the Original Oyster House, the 142-year-old Market Square seafood bar.

Chris Fennimore, host of "WQED Cooks," and other local chefs will reveal their culinary secrets with visitors as part of special cooking demonstrations throughout the day in the History Center's new Weisbrod Kitchen Classroom. WQED's Rick Sebak will join Mr. Fennimore for three sessions and show visitors his favorite cookie recipe.

Hometown–Homegrown will feature activities throughout five floors at the History Center, including scavenger hunts, fun historical facts about Pittsburgh food, fitness activities in the SmartSteps exhibition, and much more.

Throughout the day, History Center docents positioned in the Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation exhibition will discuss how food was prepared and consumed throughout Pittsburgh history, from the French & Indian War through the post-WWII era.

Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary George Greig will also be on hand during the Hometown-Homegrown event to assist with cooking demonstrations and promote the "PA Preferred" initiative.

Admission to Hometown–Homegrown is included as part of regular History Center admission ($10 for adults, $9 for visitors age 62 plus, and $5 for students and children ages 6-17, History Center members and children age 5 and under are admitted free). Several thousand visitors are expected for this first annual event.

 Pittsburgh has many culinary traditions – from sandwiches topped with French fries to "chip-chopped" ham – but none of these customs are sweeter than the cookie table. Often set out at weddings or other local celebrations, traditional cookie tables are stacked with hundreds or even thousands of homemade treats.

 As part of the

Hometown–Homegrown event, fans are encouraged to visit the History Center's Facebook page and "like" their favorite cookie recipes as part of a Virtual Cookie Table competition.

 The top five finalists will have their recipes baked by The Common Plea and then judged by a team of expert panelists at the

Hometown–Homegrown event. Judges include WQED's Chris Fennimore and Rick Sebak along with Table Magazine Executive Editor Victoria Bradley.

 The Virtual Cookie Table competition winner will be featured on a special television episode of Fennimore's "WQED Cooks" on Oct. 13 that will focus on the cookie table phenomenon in Western Pa. Additional prizes will also be awarded to the finalists and competition winner.

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