Happy Valley Culinary Week celebrates local food scene

A week of events aims to give back to the community while celebrating the local food scene.

The second annual Happy Valley Culinary Week, which begins Monday, features two “celebrity chefs,” chef demonstrations and designated days to raise money for local organizations, said Lori Miller, director of visitor and member services at the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Participating restaurants will also offer a discounted three-course, fixed-price menu.

Miller said that a few years ago, she attended a conference with other visitors bureaus from around the country that sponsored similar events and wanted to bring the same thing to Centre County.

“We have something special here,” Miller said.

“This is an opportunity for restaurants to thank patrons, and (give) locals the chance to dine somewhere they otherwise wouldn’t. We have a wonderful variety of restaurants and it lets people get a flavor of the local food scene with a personable experience.”

Along with chef demonstrations, local merchants will get involved in food service expos, Miller said.

John Moeller, a former White House chef, will hold a book signing from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday at Kitchen Kaboodle in State College followed by demonstrations and social hour from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center.

Michael Garaghty, of Wusthof Cutlery, will hold a knife demonstration and skill show from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday at Kitchen Kaboodle followed by a chef demonstration from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Downtown Theatre.

On Wednesday, a special event with South Hills School of Business and Technology will feature market vendors, chef demonstrations and live entertainment from noon to 6 p.m.

“Our goal is to get people to our area and have them visiting our restaurants, and sometimes, bringing them into our hotels,” Miller said.