Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tom Coghill, King of Tomatofest

Seems like there's a festival of some kind going on every weekend during the summer in St. Louis. Sunday brought one of the most quirky and fun. Deep in the south side of the city proper where suburbanites fear to tread, Tom Coghill runs the very cool bar and restaurant Iron Barley. For the fifth year in a row, Coghill has sponsored Tomatofest, a celebration of the delicious fruit you should not eat while wearing white. I asked him why he did this during the worst of our August heat. Because it was his wife's idea, he told me.

This year's festival attempted to break the Guinness Book of World Records mark for the largest bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich ever. I don't know if the book will recognize it, but the one they made (before I got there, unfortunately) was 179 feet long, 16 inches wide and 3 inches deep (that's 54.56 meters by 43 cm by 7.6 cm for the rest of the world). It produced 1,092 servings. I found out the hard way that you can't eat one while driving.

The event was for the benefit Lift For Life. This started out as a weightlifting gym for inner city kids and has become a big athletic facility and a charter school, soon to provide full junior and senior high school education. I spent some time with the staff and should be over there soon to photograph their activities.

PS TO TOM, IF YOU SEE THIS: I tried to email your picture to you at the address on your web site, as we discussed. It bounced back as no such user at that domain.

TOMORROW: STL DPB photo caption contest!


Steffe said...

What a great event! I hope the sandwich makes into the record book.

Olivier said...

surprenant ce concours, en effet ne jamais mangé de tomates avec un costume blanc ;o))
surprising this competition, in effect not never eaten by tomatoes with a white costume ;o))

Virginia said...

Man that sandwich looks good. I'm drooling!! Tomatofest is my kinda place. Great portrait too B.
When do you leave for your latest great adventure?

Miranda McAfee said...

That sandwich looks delicious!
Thanks for the nice comments on Salt Lake Daily Photo on Sunday. To answer your question about the photo of the pipe, it was just a bit of contrast and saturation to pull out the existing colors.


cieldequimper said...

A/ Thanks for the metric conversion; B/ What a name: Iron Barley!; C/He looks cool!; D/ Sounds like a wonderful event for a good cayse, plus it actually looks delicious and E/ why do cherry tomatoes tend to burst onto freshly washed and ironed clothing?
I'm stopping here, I don't know the alphabet any further.

Sharon said...

This looks like a place I would enjoy visiting. Wish I had know about it when I was working there all those years ago. When you are working in a place other than your home city, you tend to eat out for most meals and I used to try places all over town and especiall on "the hill" and in Soulard. If I had been out late enjoying some clubs with friends, we'd all stop at Eat Rite for breakfast before heading home. I have many fond (and some funny) memories from that tiny little diner.

Ming the Merciless said...

I haven't had a BLT in awhile. Wish I was there cos' I can help him eat up his world record leftovers.