Choosing Food for the Festival Crowds


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Earlier this month, Arts Council Oklahoma City hosted its annual Food Jury for the 2019 Festival of the Arts. Every year, food trucks, restaurants, chefs, and food lovers from all over the metro apply to participate in the Festival’s International Food Row. During the 8 days of Festival, the accepted food vendors provide a diverse cuisine to over 500,000 attendees.

However, before the tents are assembled and the crowds start gathering, interested vendors present their food exactly as it would be sold at Festival to our discerning (and some would say lucky) Food Jury committee.

We asked one of the committee members, Kristen Torkelson, to tell us a little about her experience with Festival of the Arts and what it’s like being in charge of choosing the food for the event:

“I have been volunteering for the Festival for eleven years now. I started out in the Mega Drinks tent and have worked my way through all of the beverages to food. I have really enjoyed being a part of food jury. I love talking to each of the vendors about how they got started, whether or not they have Festival experience, and also making sure they know what to expect for the week, etc. I really try to focus on the variety of the food. Each juror wants to make sure that there are many different items for the patrons to try. I also think deciding who gets accepted is one of the most fun aspects. The committee gets together after scoring the vendors individually to discuss why they think someone should be included or not, and it’s interesting to hear everyone’s different viewpoints. The hardest part is pacing yourself with the food…with all of the options, you will definitely be full all week!”


We can’t wait to share the results of the jury process with everyone and find out what delicious dishes will be in store for everyone in April at the 2019 Festival of the Arts!

Keep up to date with everything Festival by following along on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter: @artscouncilokc

Check out the Festival web page for current involvement opportunities.

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