This week food fests celebrate collard greens and Jewish foods

Published February 21 2018
Updated February 22 2018


On Saturday you can devote your whole day to the beauty of collard greens. Well, that’s the jumping off point.

Collards are the "central ingredient" at the Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival at St. Petersburg’s Historic Deuces Corridor, at Ninth Avenue and 22nd Street S, because so many people have great family stories and a nostalgic affinity for the greens. The real message, though, is about healthier living through fitness and diet.

With the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum serving as host, local organizations like Edible Peace Patch, Healthy St. Pete and the American Culinary Federation have come together for a full day of programming, with celebrity chef Edouardo Jordan, right, flying out from his restaurants in Seattle back to his hometown to do a cooking demonstration in the Legacy Gardens of the museum.

Things begin at 9:15 a.m. with a prayer and celebratory songs at the gardens, followed by a cooking demonstration and tasting by the Pinellas Technical College Commercial Food & Culinary Arts Program. Next is a Healthy St. Pete health and nutrition question-and-answer segment and a "Living Vegan" and Ray’s Vegan Soul Restaurant sampling, followed at 11 a.m. by a history of collard greens lecture by the African American Heritage Trail. Other activities include a collard green contest judged by Buckwheat and Kenzie K. of Wild 94.1, with prizes awards at 3 p.m. All day, kids will have special activities in the KidZone, where kids can learn about eating healthy and exercise benefits. Admission is free.

But that’s not where the fun ends: On Saturday evening, enthusiasts can attend Collards After Dark from 7 to 10 p.m., with soul food, cocktails and live entertainment at the Historic Manhattan Casino at 642 22nd St. S in St. Petersburg. Entertainment includes Sharon Scott, Queenofex Carter, Deneen Wyman and others. Tickets for the evening portion, sponsored by the new Callaloo Group, are $25 per person, $45 for two. (727) 219-1781.

Tampa Bay Jewish Food Festival

Temple B’nai Israel welcomes guests to the second annual Tampa Bay Jewish Food Festival on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Located on the grounds of the temple, one of the oldest Reform Jewish congregations in Pinellas County, this event features traditional Jewish foods for sale, including Carnegie Deli corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, pictured above, matzoh ball soup, kosher hot dogs, bagels and lox, black and white cookies, hamantashen, chocolate babka and potato latkes.

Along with these Jewish food items, the festival features local arts and craft vendors, a live music stage with Jewish-themed music, a kosher wine tasting room, microbrewery, a kids’ play area, and various educational lectures and demonstrations throughout the day. Additionally, all festival attendees are asked to bring a canned good or non-perishable food item to be donated to local food pantries.

"This year, we are adding many new foods to our lineup," said Barbara Bloom, festival chair. "We’ve also expanded our wine selection, added a microbrewery, and created a ‘marketplace’ for guests to purchase their food items to go."

The festival takes place rain or shine, and admission is free. The full festival menu, including prices for each dish, can be found on the festival website,

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