Don’t just read the book, experience it! during a witty PowerPoint photo slide lecture by “Great Philly Cheesesteak Book” author Carolyn Wyman detailing the cheesesteak's creation, culture and cuisine. In 40-to-75 lively and entertaining minutes, your group will learn about the cheesesteak’s creation and how Pat Olivieri helped it to gain national renown; about the cheesesteak’s meat, bread and cheese ingredients and get the answer to the eternal riddle: What is wit the Whiz?; virtually meet some of the premiere practitioners of the cheesesteak-making art and their stories, which encompass life-threatening illness, family loyalty and betrayal, Mob hits, bitter business rivalries, racial slurs and the aversion of a potentially disastrous bridge collapse. The talk has been previously presented at the Free Library of Philadelphia (Main Branch), Rowan University, Ocean County Library Bookfest, the Y.A.L.E. School in Cherry Hill, N.J. and Temple University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Center, where coordinator Iris Cutler raved, “We learned a lot about Philadelphia cheesesteaks and were also entertained by your photos and wonderful sense of humor.” The talk is the perfect introduction to Philly culture for visitors hungry for cheesesteak information (cheesesteaks are among the top three things out-of-towners are interested in, local tourism officials say) and also has delighted local steak aficionados with cheesesteak information (including leads to wonderful but obscure local stands) even they didn’t know. Twenty to 1.5-hour programs are possible, wit’ or wit’out Q&A, signed copies of the “Great Philly Cheesesteak Book” and catered cheesesteak samples. Call 215-545-8007 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your group’s talk.
Want to learn about other Philly food favorites either with your fam/friends or with your large group? Take my Taste of Philly Food Tour at the Reading Terminal Market. This tour peels away the wax paper and foil to reveal the fascinating history behind Philly’s favorite sandwiches (cheesesteaks and hoagies), breakfast foods (scrapple, sticky buns) and snacks (soft pretzels, Goldenberg Peanut Chews) and the vibrant and historic Reading Terminal Market where they’re sold. The public tour leaves from the Market information desk at 12th and Filbert streets in the heart of downtown Philadelphia at 10 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday by pre-paid reservation (required). Cost is $15.95 for adults and $8.95 for children ages 7 to 11, which includes several small food bites and the free "Philly Insider Eats Sheet." Click here or call 215-545-8007 x3 for information on how to book these public tours. Private tours of varying lengths are also available at other days and times for groups from 7 to 65. Click here for more information about private group tours. Hungry for more information about the tour and other fun, affordable things to do in Philly? Check out the tour website here.