Cooking school: Just like TV, but 'better'

Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal

Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal

An audience of 400 women (and a few men) listened raptly as Taste of Home Cooking School chef Kristi Larson danced through a dozen recipes on the stage of the Carson City Community Center on Friday evening.

It was like a TV cooking program except that it was interactive and the finished dishes would be given away to members of the audience.

The cooking school, part of the Women's Fair also taking place at the center, offered more than 40 area businesses showing special products aimed at women. Both events will be repeated today, with the fair open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The cooking school will be held from 3-5 p.m. Admission to the expo is $5; the school fee is $10.

In both cases there are plenty of gifts awaiting visitors.

Chef Larson worked over an oversize counter of the stage, with two large TV screens repeating her cooking techniques. She's 27, has been doing cooking shows for 2 and a 1/2 years and apparently enjoys it from the way she bubbled about mixing this, tossing that.

She started out with a sesame stir-fried pork dish, which she made with all the skill and pizzazz of a Chinese chef. Next she tossed freezer cole slaw, which "can keep for two months n the freezer." She lost her carrots but suggested that the audience just imagine they were there. (Later she added some pre-chopped cabbage that did have carrots.)

The MC, Connie Way of Reno radio station Alice @96.5, led the way to a presentation on the kohlrabi, a common vegetable in Europe that is just catching on in the U.S.

The next recipe was creamed Chex chocolate caramel, and she received help with this from to Carson Middle School students, Shelly Plemel, 11, and Lauren Weddell, also 11.

Among other dishes Larson created were American chili, fragrant Indian butter chicken, pumpkin tiramisu, jalapeno chili sauce, bulgur chili, apple, dried cherry walnut capote ad lava chocolate cake.

The finished dishes would be later awarded to members of the audience.

The Taste of Home magazine has spawned several other specialty magazines dealing with home living. The stage at the center was decorated with luxury sofas and seating arrangements.

Backstage volunteers helped keep the show moving, washing dishes and arranging the finished products. The dishes, cutlery, food processors and other needs for the cooking school took up a large section of the stage as volunteers worked to keep up with the chef.

At the 15-minute intermission, members of the audience swapped notes on recipes and discussed the cooking school.

"Much better than trying to keep up with those chefs on TV; besides, you can get the recipes from the 35,000 the Taste of Home Web site offers," said one women who did not want to be identified. "My family already thinks I'm good cook."

The school was sponsored by the Nevada Appeal and the Record-Courier of Gardnerville. New dishes will be created for the today's school.

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