Marcus Samuelsson, Eric Asimov and Rick Nichols At First Person Arts

This year, the First Person Arts Festival has a bit of a gastronomical slant, bringing in three serious food people to talk about (among other things) wine, adoption, Swedish food, fried chicken, chocolate and themselves.

First up, on October 24, is Eric Asimov, wine critic for the New York Times, who’ll be in town to talk up his combination memoir and manifesto, How To Love Wine. There will be a dinner (with paired wines, natch), Asimov will talk and the whole thing will be hosted by Eric Miller, founder of Chadsford Winery. It’s $125 for a dinner ticket, $250 for a VIP (which involves meeting Asimov at “an intimate pre-dinner wine tasting in the luxurious penthouse of the Omni Hotel”) and more information can be gotten at

Next on the list is Marcus Samuelsson, who’ll be in town on November 7 for an event “where the internationally acclaimed chef and winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters shares his bestselling memoir, Yes, Chef and kicks off the 11th Annual First Person Arts Festival.” (Asimov is doing the early First Taste fundraiser for First Person Arts, so Samuelsson is the official kick-off man.)

Samuelsson is a good talker and has a helluva story to tell–both about his life in the kitchen, and how an Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised immigrant to NYC managed to rise to the top of that very competitive heap by cooking Ethiopian-inflected Swedish food, plus some damn fine fried chicken. Tickets for this event (which includes a book signing, reading and dinner, plus hors d’oeuvres and cocktails if you spring for the VIP’s) go on sale today and are running $150 for VIP and $100 just for the dinner and reading, and can be gotten by visiting But be quick because this one is going to sell out fast.

Finally, there’s Rick Nichols on November 10 and Rick Nichols will be talking about candy. Specifically about chocolate and Philadelphia’s long and complicated chocolate history, from Hershey to Shane Confectionery. Rick Nichols Candyland will have special guests and free candy, and tickets for the the event are just $25. Check out the details at

First Person Arts [Official website]