Chef Dana Elliott, of Taste of Home magazine, visited Lewis and Clark Community College on April 5, serving nothing but joy to those in attendance for one of her famous Cooking School shows.
The event was held in the Hatheway Cultural Center on campus and featured step-by-step tutorials for recipes, giveaways, and more. Each attendee was given a gift bag which included food samples, coupons for the previously mentioned sponsors, and a $100 wine voucher.
Outside of the Hatheway Cultural Center were an array of tables where local sponsors handed out pamphlets, contest sheets, and free samples to passersby. Some of these sponsors included Jim Murphy Landscaping, Saladmaster, Mary Kay, General Electric, and more.
Jim Shrader, the publisher of the Alton Telegraph, begun the occasion with an opening speech, thanking everyone for coming out, as well as the Family Community Career Leaders of America (FCCLA) student volunteers who helped prepare the meals and handed out samples of food out into the audience.
Student volunteers were each given a free cookbook and gift bag as thanks for their hard work:
“It was a such a fun learning experience!” Deborah Dhue, one of the five FCCLA volunteers, said in an interview. She went on to explain that this is second time she’s been able to volunteer for a Taste of Home Cooking Show.
Chef Elliott, who is also an FCCLA member, kindly introduced herself to everyone, and began preparing a slew of different meals. Some of these included Buffalo Chicken Lasagna, Crepe Quiche Cups, Haystack Supper, and Sausage Stuffed Jalapenos.
Over the course of the evening, Elliott multi-tasked by arranging each dish, while simultaneously accepting and answering random questions from the audience while two projectors on each side of the stage displaying an overhead view of what she was baking.
“We eat with our eyes first,” Elliott said, “We see [the dish] and then we want to get in there.”
In order to make a meal pretty, there are certain rules that should be followed depending on the type of dish. Salads, for instance, can’t be put on hot plates because it will wilt the leaves. “Hot plates for hot food. Cold plates for cold food,” Elliott continued, while preparing a grilled chicken salad.
After each recipe was completed, door prizes were given to random members of the audience. The prizes included an indoor grill, a double walled salad bowl, and many other useful appliances and home decor items.
At the end, samples of the food prepared were handed out to members in the audience. Patty Kreider, one of the people that got to sample the Haystack, expressed surprise:
“It was better than I thought it would be,” Kreider said. “This was my first time [coming here]. It was fun and I would come again!”
Jan Moore was another audience member who was able to try it. “It was delicious! I would make it for my next party.”