The Cooking Channel brought its Summer Eats Tour to Reading Terminal Market, complete with two of its newest stars.
By Denise Clay
When you walk into the Reading Terminal Market, you're surrounded on all sides by food.
From the chicken wings at Diemer's (which you'd better grab as soon as you get into the market because once they've cooked the last piece of chicken, that's it..) the Reuben sandwiches at Hershel's East Side Deli to the apple dumplings from the Dutch Eating Place to the Frozen peach lemonade at Basset's Ice Cream, the Reading Terminal Market is one of those places where if its food, you can find it.
So it made perfect sense for the Cooking Channel to bring its Summer Eats tour to the Market. The channel, which is known for such eclectic fare as "Nadia G.'s Bitchin' Kitchen", "The Culinary Adventures of Baron Ambrosia" and "Not My Mama's Meals", hosted by Food Network hostess Paula Deen's son Bobby, brought in the hosts of two of it's newest shows, Eden Grinshpan of "Eden Eats" and G. Garvin of "Road Trip with G. Garvin."
Both shows invite you to take a weekly visit to another city and join the hosts as they try the local cuisine, show you how it's done, and look at what else is going on in the city.
Grinshpan, who is from Toronto, got the idea for her show from her experiences which ranged from backpacking through India and Southeast Asia and cooking at an orphanage to opening a bakery on Manhattan's Lower East Side. She hopes to introduce viewers to things that might have been hiding right under their noses.
"There are a lot of local hidden gems," she said. "We're going to cover them on the show. We're going to look at ethnic food and the stories behind it."
On Aug. 17 at 10 PM., "Eden Eats" premieres on the Cooking Channel.
For seven years, Garvin wowed viewers with his ability to put a different spin on down-home dishes on his show "Turn Up the Heat With G. Garvin" on TV One. On "Road Trip", he'll be going around the country and checking out the culinary culture of the South through its towns.
An Atlanta native, Garvin has been cooking since he was 12-years-old and went on to become the youngest chef at Atlanta's Ritz Carlton. After years of trying to connect with Cooking Channel on a project, he's glad they've finally done it.
"We had been talking for years," he said. "We finally decided that this was a project that worked for both of us."
"Road Trip with G. Garvin" airs Tuesday nights at 9 on Cooking Channel.
As part of the Summer Eats tour, there was, of course, food.
The space outside of the Market's Rick Nichols Room, (named for the local food writing legend) was filled with people noshing on cheese steaks with provolone cheese, mushrooms, peppers and caramelized onions, herbed potato salad with tarragon, parsley, dill, capers and crumbled eggs, Fish tacos on fresh tortillas with avocado, salsa and sour cream, a watermelon, feta and arugula salad with a Serrano chile vinaigrette and for dessert, Red Velvet cupcakes with mascarpone frosting.
There was also local beer on tap like the Philadelphia Pale Ale from Yards Brewing Co., Kenzinger from Philadelphia Brewing Co., Hunchback Hefeweizen from Evil Genius Beer Co., Hop Devil IPA from Victory Brewing, Schuylkill Raspberry Punch from Manayunk Brewing and Susquehanna Summer Lager from Susquehanna Brewing. Food Network's Entwine line of wines was also free to those on hand wishing to embibe.
Since I never make a trip like this without tasters, I grabbed my Significant Other (of course) and The Pictureman for this one. Both gentlemen liked the cheese steak despite it being something they'd never get here otherwise. They also liked the fish tacos and the Red Velvet cupcakes.
But my favorite dish of the night was the watermelon salad. I could sit at a table and eat several plates of this refreshing summer treat. Watermelon and Feta cheese are two things I'm going to keep on hand in the fridge from here on out.
As for the libations, my tasters were never far away from a mug of Schuylkill Raspberry Punch. Manayunk Brewing has a hit on its hands here. I may have to keep a six-pack of that on hand.
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