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It rained, it poured, they cooked

From left, Cody Stubbs, Grant Caspero, Catherine Corbett, and Emily Schoettler taste kitchen sauces from the Village Eatinghouse. The Happy Valley Culinary Week Food Festival was held Thursday at South Hills School of Business and Technology.
From left, Cody Stubbs, Grant Caspero, Catherine Corbett, and Emily Schoettler taste kitchen sauces from the Village Eatinghouse. The Happy Valley Culinary Week Food Festival was held Thursday at South Hills School of Business and Technology. nmark@centredaily.com

It was the items that seemed the simplest that were the most popular among many patrons testing food from some local vendors at a food festival Thursday.

For the Street Meat food truck by Mountain View Farm in Walker Township, it was the cheeseburger.

El Gringo’s guacamole and beet dip was the top choice, followed by a beet juice, owner Ben Stanley said.

And for Gemelli Bakers, the margherita pizza was the biggest hit, though pastry chef Jason Turnipseed said the Genovese and vegetable pizzas were close seconds.

El Gringo and Gemelli Bakers were veterans to the annual Happy Valley Culinary Week Food Festival, hosted by South Hills School of Business and Technology and sponsored by the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Newcomer Mountain View Farm’s food truck was one of the highlights.

The truck officially launched in May, and owner Susan Smith-Shannon said it’s her mission to make it a must-stop shop.

“It’s been raining like crazy, but we’re still getting foot traffic,” Smith-Shannon. “We do a lot and it seems like such a simple choice, but the classic cheeseburger is the biggest seller for us.”

South Hills community outreach director Jeff Stachowski said that despite the rain Thursday afternoon, he predicted 750 to 1,000 people to be in attendance.

The third annual food fest had 22 vendors, some participating in demonstrations.

Other featured vendors included Harrison’s Wine Grill and Catering, The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle, Village Eatinghouse and Faccia Luna.

“We look at it as the focal point to Culinary Week,” Stachowski said. “We’ve teamed up just to show how deep and how rich our food abilities are in central Pennsylvania.”

Culinary Week is a weeklong event that celebrates the food culture in central Pennsylvania. It includes the food fest, and participating restaurants offer discounted meals to patrons.

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

On the web

www.visitpennstate.org/events/happy-valley-culinary-week

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