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Easton Garlic Fest Returns This Weekend

Annual celebration of garlic comes back to Easton Oct. 6 and 7.

On the TV cooking competition Master Chef, contestants begin every other episode with a "mystery box" challenge. 

Basically, they go to their cooking stations, lift the box, and have to make a dish with whatever's inside it, whether it's chicken or crab or sea urchin.

At this year's Easton Garlic Festival, expect to see the same sort of competion involving two local master chefs.

For the first time, the festival -- held Oct. 6 and 7 -- will include a “Mystery Basket Competition," in which shoppers at the Easton Farmers Market will be picked to choose ingredients from the market.

Those ingredients will be presented to Chef Abe Lopez of Easton's Valenca restuarant, and Tyler Baxter, chef at Cosmopolitan in Allentown, who will compete to see who can create the best garlic-themed dish.

Held each year in October, the festival is a celebration of one nature's most fragrant foods, whether it's "raw, cooked, sweet, savory, and even bottled," the festival said in a news release.

"Our farmers are going to sell it; our chefs are going to cook it; our bands are going to sing about it; our artisans are going to be inspired by it, but best of all and you can come and eat it!" the release says.

This year's headlining chef will be Susan Roth, a culinary arts profressor and five-time winner of the Iron Chef competition at the Allentown Fair. She'll be judging dishes, and also offering cooking demonstrations.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in and around Centre Square.

The weekend features two contests that allow visitors to taste garlic-based dishes: the Gastric Garlic People’s Choice Contest on Saturday, and the “Dangerous Desserts” competiton on Sunday.

Find more information at www.eastongarlicfest.com.

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