Annual Cooks & Books Fundraiser set

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The Literacy Center’s triple threat of fun returns

Plan now to chase away your mid-winter blues by attending The Literacy Center’s highly anticipated Cooks & Books fundraiser.

The Cooks & Books festival – a Lowcountry tradition for nine years – will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 1 at the Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa. In Palmetto Dunes.

This event hosts a triple threat of fun: great food, friendly competition, and the opportunity to meet and greet your favorite Lowcountry authors and purchase signed editions of their books.

Some of the area’s best restaurants will come together in one location to provide free samplings of their most popular dishes. Participating restaurants currently include: Bomboras Grille; Chart House; Corner Perk; Ela’s Blue Water Grill; Frankie Bones; French Kiss Bakery; La Fontana; Mulberry St. Trattoria; Old Fort Pub; Pino Gelato; The Salty Dog Café;; Skillets; Vine/843; and WiseGuys.

One of the highlights of the festival is the “Heat is On” chefs’ competition which will pit six local chefs against each other in a ‘Chopped’-style cooking competition. Reigning champion Stephen Stewart of Tidepointe will be on hand to compete against Keith Josefiak of Old Fort Pub; Eric Seaglund of Chart House; Luke Lyons of Frankie Bones; Lucio Perez Diaz of Corner Perk; and Chris Pinckney of the Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa.

Judging the competition will be Wolfgang Bierer, CMPC, CEC, CCE, AAC; Eric Moore, Executive Chef at A.C.E.; and Raymond Pridgen, Food and Nutrion General Manager at Sodexo.

The signature Sunday afternoon event will also feature 17 Southern authors who will be on hand to talk with fans and sign books. Fiction writers include Patti Callahan Henry; Mary Alice Monroe; CJ Lyons; Kathryn Wall; and Karen White. Nonfiction authors Ken Burger; Barbara Muller; Linda Haviland; and Teresa Bruce will be on hand as well as children’s authors Helen Wilbur; Phyllis Tildes; and Mark Yarbrough. Pictorial books by Wendy Pollitzer, Lydia Inglett and David Lynch (dec’d) will available along with cookbooks by Pat Branning, Debbi Covington, Sallie Ann Robinson and A Taste of Hilton Head.

Tickets to the festival are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, and include unlimited tastings, access to the authors and the chef’s competition and the opportunity to vote for your favorite tasting in “The Peoples’ Choice.”

Advance tickets are available online at www.theliteracycenter.org or on Hilton Head Island at The Literacy Center, 4 Oak Park Dr.; Burke’s Pharmacy, Main Street; Christie’s Hallmark, Shops at Indigo Run; and Le Cookery, Wexford Village and In Bluffton at The Literacy Center, 1-B Kittie’s Landing Way; and Markel’s Cards & Gifts, Kittie’s Crossing.

All proceeds from the Cooks & Books Festival help equip adults with the reading, writing, math and speaking skills they need to be self-reliant and successful in the family, at work and in our communities.