Today's the day hundreds of area food-lovers have been waiting for - the day when the popular Taste of Home Cooking School will feature a full evening of amazing recipes and awesome prizes.
Limited tickets remain for the live cooking show, which will feature Cheryl Cohen, a culinary expert who shares her love of cooking with the audience in an entertaining, interactive show that is fun for everyone - even those who don't actually cook much themselves.
Anyone who doesn't have a ticket yet can stop by The Inter-Mountain's Elkins location at 520 Railroad Ave., or call 304-636-2121, while supplies last.
The Inter-Mountain photos by Matthew Burdette
Connie Ricottilli, of Rennix Flowers in Valley Bend, hands flowers to The Inter-Mountain pressman Jason Nice Wednesday afternoon at the Randolph County Armed Forces Reserve Center in preparation for the Taste of Home Cooking School. The popular culinary event will kick off at 2 p.m. today with a vendor fair, followed by the main cooking school show at 6:30 p.m. The flowers will be given away as door prizes.
Inter-Mountain Publisher Heather Goodwin Henline said the event offers a full evening of entertainment for just $10 per ticket - which is a tremendous value.
"This show is great every year, and we want people to come out and have an amazing time," Goodwin Henline said. "It's not just about cooking - there are tons of prizes, too, and it really is fun. It's a great way to spend an evening."
The Taste of Home event, which is presented by The Inter-Mountain and Elkins Distributing, will kick off at 2 p.m. with an exclusive vendor fair. The Cooking Show itself is set to begin at 6:30 p.m., giving guests plenty of time to check out the vendors and enjoy something to eat before the show gets underway.
This year's event is taking place at the new National Guard Armory near Belington - where attendees will enjoy free parking and easy access.
Goodwin Henline noted VIP ticket holders will be able to park at the armory. Those with general admission tickets will be directed to the Junior Volunteer Fire Department, where complimentary shuttles will run between the parking area there and the armory venue.
She said there will be three 12-person transport vehicles and one that can seat 24 people. These shuttles will begin at 2 p.m. and run until all guests have been returned to their vehicles.
"We want people to know that they won't have to wait," she said. "At peak times, we will have the four large transport vehicles running, and we'll make sure the shuttles run until the last guest is ready to head home after the show is over."
Admission to the Cooking School event not only will enable individuals to see the live demonstrations and vendors - and have a chance to win great prizes - but all participants also will receive a complimentary tote bag filled with sample products, coupons, discount offers from local and national vendors and a copy of Taste of Home magazine.
Guests are invited to bring food that will be donated to the Catholic Charities food bank. Anyone who brings a nonperishable food item to the event will receive an extra ticket per donated item for the grand prize drawing, a $1,000 shopping spree at Ralph's Furniture. Those who bring in receipts showing the items were purchased at Wal-Mart, the show's grocery sponsor, will receive an extra ticket per receipt.
In addition to the grand prize, dozens of valuable prizes will be given away throughout the evening, such as gift certificates, specialty baskets and a Husqvarna Viking sewing machine valued at $500.
Taste of Home guests are encouraged to come early, enjoy the vendor fair and dine before the show and prize giveaways get started.
Full-service meals will be available for purchase, and one of the tasty options will include The Rail Yard Restaurant's pork barbecue sandwich with cole slaw, as well as signature crepes for dessert. Another local restaurant preparing a mouthwatering menu will be the Kissel Stop, which is set to serve chicken and tuna salad, scones, chocolate and peanut butter candy, as well as coffee and tea.
Tables will be set up for attendees to sit down and enjoy their meals.
Because the Inter-Mountain has brought this popular cooking show to the local community since 2011, some returning guests will be familiar with Cohen. The culinary expert travels throughout the country, presenting lively cooking events that are filled with humor and fun, along with the fantastic recipes that fill Taste of Home magazines and cookbooks.
"I always have a great time at the shows because the audience makes it fun!" Cohen said, inviting those who've seen the show before and anyone who hasn't yet to join in the excitement.
More information and tickets are available by calling The Inter-Mountain at 304-636-2121.