Artichoke Festival Lines Up Chefs With Heart

Thistle be good: Pros who know this unusual treat will take to the demo stage during the Monterey event.

Westend61

STRAIGHTFORWARD SNACKS? Delicious dining experiences that feel pretty direct are plentiful, all told. We understand the best routes to preparing, cooking, and eating a host of yummy goodies, and while our own preferred ways of readying a meal may differ from how other people like to make a particular dish, we generally understand the standard methods of creating a side, snack, or supper. But then along comes the artichoke, one of the most outlandish, and amazing, and otherworldly, and spectacular of all snackables ever, and we're not even including any dips, oils, or condiments in that praise. The artichoke stands in its own spotlight, always.

THIS GREEN GIANT... boasts a host of leaves, which you can eat (well, the meaty, teeth-scrape-able sections, of course), and pointy thistle-like parts, and a thick stem, and a rich heart that is so singular that describing its fanciful flavor as "artichoke-y" feels like the only thing you can correctly do. In short? While we may love eating chokies, and have a method or two for preparing them, even avowed artichoke aficionados appreciate any inspiration bestowed by pros. And a number of artichoke artisans, great chefs who know this thistle, through and through, will take to the demonstration stage during the 2022 Artichoke Festival at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center on June 11 and 12.

THE CHEF LINE-UP? It's here, giving you a pre-idea of what you can expect on the weekend's artichoke artisan scene. Monterey luminaries, including the California Artichoke Advisory Board's "Artichoke Queens" Judy Burditt and Pat Hopper, will be showing lovers of this surreal snack how to grill, bake, fry, and create all sorts of choice chokie masterpieces. And the organization behind the demos? It's Partnership for Children, "which has been providing transportation to medical care and family support services for children with life-threatening conditions living in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties since 2007." For more info on tickets, attending, and any slots still open for artichoke-obsessed chefs, visit the Artichoke Festival HQ now.

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