Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Cooking event serving up two shows

by The Indiana Gazette on March 10, 2014 10:55 AM

This year’s Indiana’s Cookin’ show, with a theme of “The Quick and the Culinary,” is set for April 9 with a change that offers attendees the option of an early or later show.

The annual event is sponsored by The Indiana Gazette and features students from Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Academy of Culinary Arts and faculty members and interns from IUP’s Department of Food and Nutrition.

Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Indiana County Community Action Program food bank and have helped provide more than $30,000 and 8 tons of food since 2008.

The early show will be from 4 to 5:30 p.m., with a vendor fair from 3 to 5 p.m. The second show will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m., with a vendor fair from 5 to 7 p.m.

The change allows for people who prefer to be home early to finish the show before dark, and for those who may work later to still attend.

“We’re glad to be able to offer the flexibility of two shows for the convenience of our guests.

“People have a great time, raise money for a good cause, and we love making their experience better each year,” said Debbie Palmer, creative director of Indiana Printing and Publishing.

Shows will be in the Toretti Auditorium of the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex on campus. This will allow for a more intimate environment on a single floor level.

For the first half of the show, chef Andrew Nutter of the culinary academy will guide two teams of culinary students through a “Chopped”-style contest in a combination of live and taped events. In the TV show “Chopped,” chefs compete to create the best dishes using unusual combinations of ingredients selected for them. The taped and live event are produced by students of IUP’s communication media department, under the direction of instructor Lacey Fulton.

The teams of chefs developed the recipes a few months ago at the school in Punxsutawney, where they were given a basket of food items and 30 minutes to make a menu.

Three chefs on each team will demonstrate the appetizers, main course and desserts they developed.

In the second half, Diane Wagoner, of the food and nutrition department, along with her interns, will demonstrate a “fast and furious” segment on cooking for those on the run.

Other perks include a gift bag and dessert sample from the culinary academy, in addition to raffles and other prize drawings.

The show, now in its 30th year, has seen the involvement of the university’s food and nutrition department for 10 years and the culinary academy for three.

An event known as Candemonium is also a big part of this year’s show. Tate’s in Clymer, Valeski’s 4th St. BiLo, and Saltsburg Shop ’n Save will be collecting donations for the food pantry through April 6. Volunteers from several IUP student life organizations, under the direction of Betsy Sarneso, will assist with the collection of funds on March 28-30 and April 4-6.

There are 600 tickets available for each show.

Tickets, which are $8, are available at The Indiana Gazette between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and the KCAC box office from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. They also can be purchased at Tate’s in Clymer, Valeski’s 4th St. BiLo and Saltsburg Shop ’n Save during normal business hours, as well as through mail-in forms in the Gazette and Shopper’s Guide.

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