Tickets for the 35th annual Indiana's Cookin' show are on sale now and, once again, the money raised will benefit the Indiana County Community Action Program's food pantry.
The cooking show, sponsored by The Indiana Gazette and Indiana University of Pennsylvania's department of food and nutrition, will be held at S&T Bank Arena on April 7. Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30 p.m.
"We think we have found the perfect recipe for the cooking show," said Debbie Palmer, the Gazette's marketing director. "Everybody loved it (last year)."
Like last year, this year's cooking show will feature a Battle of the Chefs competition; cooking demonstrations; vendors, prizes and gift bags; and, for the second year, IUP sororities and fraternities will build sculptures out of canned goods for the "Candemonium" canned-goods fundraiser.
Candemonium made its debut last year and, adding up cans bought for the sculptures, a Facebook drive by Battle of the Chefs winner Laurie Kuzneski and a matching can donation from Diamond Drugs, the event brought in 4,100 canned goods for the food pantry.
This year, a total of 11 fraternities and sororities are teaming up to build six sculptures out of canned food. Palmer said she hopes to set up collection sites at area grocery stores so community members can help students buy all the cans they need for the sculptures. Each one requires at least 600 cans, she said.
Also back this year is the Battle of the Chefs competition, and Palmer said applications are being taken now. Chefs may submit their recipes by March 1 and will submit their prepared dishes on March 15. Three chefs will be selected to compete at the show.
Entry forms and instructions are available online at www.indianagazette.com, and submissions may be mailed to The Indiana Gazette, Battle of the Chefs, P.O. Box 10, Indiana, PA 15701.
Kuzneski, of Indiana, the owner of Miss Laurie's Gourmet Kitchen, won the Battle of the Chefs last year. This year she will present a cooking demonstration during the second half of the show.
Lentz Kitchen and Bath is the "Silver Platter" sponsor, and will be providing the gift bags.
Tickets for reserved seats are $5, and general admission is $4. Order forms will be available in the newspaper, online at www.indianagazette.com and at the Gazette offices, 899 Water St., Indiana.