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Ripon authors part of bookfest this Saturday
Ella Mangelos-Velthoen shows the pair of cookbooks that she co-authored with brother John Mangelos. The two have been cooking together professionally and traveling for more than three decades. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL


• WHAT: Great Valley Bookfest includes authors, seminars, slam poetry, arts & crafts, Halloween costume contest for kids, gourmet food trucks, cooking demonstrations, and more
• WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• WHERE: The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley, Bass Pro Shop, 120 Bypass & Union Road
• COST: Free
• MORE INFO: Go to

The average person looks at a kitchen and sees appliances.

You bake something in the stove or boil it on a burner. You defrost something in the microwave or cure it in the refrigerator.

But John Mangelos looks at a kitchen and sees a gourmet meal. He sees the individual ingredients being added, one-by-one, to make appetizers and main dishes that could grace tables across the world. Sometimes it’s recipe-based, but other times it’s just his mind wandering to the far-off places that he’s broken bread – from his native Greece to villages in Italy or China.

And the established restaurateur and caterer – who just recently sold his Ripon Barnwood Restaurant after decades of serving the community – doesn’t’ shy away from letting people into his unique world. With his sister Ella Mangelos-Velthoen, Mangelos has penned a pair of cookbooks that detail the worldly travels that the duo has tackled together.

They’ll be appearing together once again at the Great Valley Bookfest on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. near Bass Pro at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley.

“I think that the real value of it is that it allows people to become involved with the process of reading,” Mangelos said of the festival. “An educated society is very important, and having people that are willing to write about so many different subjects creates great tools for education. Even though we see bookstores closing, an event like this shows us that there are people that are out there writing, and that is a great thing.”

On top of talking about the processes that lead to book dubbed “The Greek Gourmets and Culinary Adventures of The Greek Gourmets”, Mangelos and his sister will be serving food from their native Greek island of Crete and will put some of the recipes themselves into personal context.

Mangelos will also be promoting the book that he assembled outlining the early history of Ripon. He also will be discussing the possibility of penning another book with his sister – this time focusing on the necessities of a dinner party and what makes a dining event in one’s home successful.

On a 21-day excursion across Europe, she and John made it a point to stop in and visit small, family restaurants – gaining entry into their kitchen to see how it is that they cooked in that part of the world and how they worked together to get the food out to the customers that they were serving.

The experience resulted in their second book – “Culinary Adventures of The Greek Gourmets”.

“I just love the creativity that you have when you’re cooking,” she said. “I love the Greek desserts and the old country stuff, and while a lot of the people that we get here at the restaurant are culinary academics, they aren’t cooks – that’s a different style and it’s satisfying. It’s a chance to express yourself.

“I like being able to cook up a tart or a cake and bring it out to a table and see their expression.”