Edible Book Festival

2015 Edible Book Festival Logo

2015 Edible Book Festival

Date: Monday, 13 April, 2015

Voting: 11:00 am-4:30 pm
Reception: 4:00-5:30 pm

UW-Madison's Memorial Library
728 State Street
Room 116 (1st Floor West Corridor)

Entry deadline: Friday, 10 April at Noon

Please complete the online entry form. (There is no entry fee.)

"Book-inspired food."

A free, family-friendly event for the UW-Madison community and beyond that celebrates the convergence of literature and food. Anyone interested may enter a literary-themed, edible dish which will compete for prizes awarded by celebrity guest judges. All are welcome to attend the event and vote for their favorite!

Get Inspired!

PinterestFlickr

History

The International Edible Book Festival is held annually around April 1st. Countries around the world participate in this festival, including: Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, United States of America, and Russia. The April 1st date is in homage to the author Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), famous for his book Physiologie du got, a witty meditation on food.

The International Edible Book Festival is the creation of Judith A. Hoffberg and Batrice Coron. Judith came up with the idea during a 1999 Thanksgiving dinner with book artists, and Batrice created the Books2Eat website so that people around the world can enjoy the food artists' created. Their first event was held in 2000. In 2006, the Edible Book Festival came to UW-Madison for the School of Library and Information Sciences (SLIS) centennial year celebration. Since that time, UW-Madison Libraries have continued to promote just how much fun it is to have your cake, and read it too!

2014 EBF Press Coverage/Photos

UW-Madison Libraries' News

Eating in Madison A to Z (2014): “Edible Book Festival 2014 report”

About the Edible Book Festival

Over the years, "edible books" have been made from a variety of materials, including cake, breadsticks, chocolate, veggies, and matzo meal. Every entry provides not only some artsy good fun with a dash of creativity, but the promotion of libraries through community engagement. You don't have to be a food artist to sign-up! Past entries have come from UW faculty & staff and their families, students, community members, and a variety of organizations on- and off-campus.

Members of the community are encouraged to attend, ogle the edible art, and vote for their favorite entries. This is a family-friendly event, so bring the kids! A cake for attendees will be provided and served so no one is tempted to taste the entries. Certificates and prizes will be awarded in multiple categories by the official judges. As in years past, all who attend will be given the opportunity to vote for the "People’s Choice” award (a.k.a. “Best in Show”).

2015 Edible Book Festival Judges

Maya Warren: UW-Madison Ph.D. student in food science; also one of the winners (along with teammate Amy DeJong) of the Emmy-winning CBS reality tv show The Amazing Race in Fall 2014. Warren researches the microstructure, behavioral and sensorial properties of ice cream and other frozen-aerated treats.

Nichole Fromm & JonMichael Rasmus: Blog authors for Eating in Madison A to Z, "a date-night decision-making tool and dining diary" for restaurants throughout the city.

2015 Edible Book Festival Prize Categories

  • People's Choice (Based on attendees' votes)
  • Most Creative Use of Ingredients
  • Best Visual Presentation
  • Funniest/Punniest
  • Best entry based on non-illustrated book
  • Special judges' award, which could be one of the following (or something else!)…
    • Most mouthwatering
    • Best failed attempt
    • Most elaborate
    • Most minimalistic

Edible Book Festival Sponsors/Donors

Please thank our generous donors the next time you patronize their establishments! Their gift certificates and food make the event more fun (and tastier!) for all.

Frequently Asked Questions—For Entrants

Thinking about entering, but have a question or two? We hope we've answered it below. If you have other questions, please email us.

Do I have to submit an edible book to attend the event?
What is an edible book?
What books can I use for inspiration?
Where do I look for ideas?
What kind of food can I use to create it?
Does my entry need to taste good?
Who is making the edible books?
Do I have to be an artist?
How do I sign up to make an edible book?
Is this only for kids?
When/where do I create my edible book?
Can other people help me?
Where / when do I drop off my edible book for the festival?
What if my edible book turns out horrible?
How much time does it take to make an edible book?
Do I need to bring a copy of the actual book to feature next to my creation?
Will my creation be judged?
What are the prize categories?
What are the prizes?
How many edible books can one person bring?
Can I take my edible book back after the event?
Do I need to stay for the whole event?
Can I take pictures during the event?

  • Do I have to submit an edible book to attend the event?
    • No—everyone is welcome to attend the event whether they’ve submitted an edible book or not. But we certainly encourage you participate by entering an edible book—it’s easier than you might think!
  • What is an edible book?
    • An edible book is a “book”—or often a pun on a book—that you make out of food. Some people choose to create a character, scene, or memorable theme from a book out of food. Other people choose to recreate a memorable book cover out of food. And still others choose to make a food pun from the title or content of a book. So, for example, if you were using the book Pilgrim’s Progress, you could make a pilgrim hat out of an ice cream cone and put it on top of a Progresso soup can. Edible books can also represent books as a form: an accounting ledger, or a spiral notebook “bound” by spiral-shaped pasta.
  • What kind of food can I use to create it?
    • If it’s edible, you can use it! Fruits, veggies, grains, meat, candy, processed foods—anything’s game. Last year we had an edible book that was only packages of Tofurkey!
  • Does my entry need to taste good?
    • No—due to regulations, the attendees will not be eating your entry. Feel free to use commercial cake mixes, purchased food, or edible but yucky items (liver?!?)
  • Who is making the edible books?
    • Participation is open to all! Members of the community make the edible books, including (but not limited to) UW-Madison students, faculty, and staff, Madison community members, families, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, librarians, book lovers, and foodies.
  • Do I have to be an artist?
    • Absolutely not! Your edible book can be as simple or complex as you choose to make it. Just have fun!
  • How do I sign up to make an edible book?
    • Register on our website by Friday, April 10th (preferably by Noon)
  • Is this only for kids?
    • No. We usually get more submissions from adults, though children are also very welcome to participate!
  • When/where do I create my edible book?
    • We do not provide space for making edible books, only displaying them during the event on April 13. When and where (and with whom) you create your edible book(s) is up to you! If you need to do some assembling at the event, that’s fine.
  • Can other people help me?
    • Absolutely! Group-created edible books are always welcome.
  • Where / when do I drop off my edible book for the festival?
    • Edible books can be dropped off at Memorial Library on Monday, April 13th from 8am–10:30 am. If it makes it easier, you can park on Langdon Street and call for assistance bringing your edible book into the library (more details will be emailed to you when you register for the event). If dropping your edible book off Monday morning is not possible, simply contact us and we can make other arrangements.
  • What if my edible book turns out horrible?
    • You’ve heard of Cake Wrecks, right? Not to worry—things happen. Please still bring your edible book(s) to the festival! There is a special “judges’ choice” award category that could be bestowed upon the most, er, noble attempt.
  • How much time does it take to make an edible book?
    • That’s really up to you! You can make your edible book as simple or as elaborate as you choose.
  • Do I need to bring a copy of the actual book to feature next to my creation?
    • No, though if you have the book (or can check it out from a library), we encourage you to bring it. If we have the book here at UW-Madison, we will have it on hand just in case. Seeing the book that inspired your edible book is helpful for understanding your work of edible art!
  • Will my creation be judged?
    • Yes, but only in a fun, low-steaks (pun!) environment. This is a very family-friendly event. There is also a People’s Choice award, but no public critique.
  • What are the prize categories?
    • For our 2015 event, the prize categories are:
      • People's Choice (Based on attendees' votes)
      • Most Creative Use of Ingredients
      • Best Visual Presentation
      • Funniest/Punniest
      • Best entry based on non-illustrated book
    • Special judges' award, which could be one of the following (or something else!)…
      • Most mouthwatering
      • Best failed attempt
      • Most elaborate
      • Most minimalistic
  • What are the prizes?
    • We will have a variety of food- and book-related prizes, including gift cards for area businesses and restaurants.
  • How many edible books can one person bring?
    • As many as you like! The more the merrier!
  • Can I take my edible book back after the event?
    • Yes. All edible books not claimed by the end of the event will be disposed of (unless you make prior arrangements with us).
  • Do I need to stay for the whole event?
    • No, though you’re encouraged to be present for the cake reception, Q&A with Amazing Race winner Maya Warren, and awards from 4-5:30 pm. And of course, be sure to look at the other edible books and vote for your favorite before 4:30!
  • Can I take pictures during the event?