Taste of the Valley cooking school scheduled for Nov. 11

Photo by Art Smith Chef Chad Winebrenner and his children, from left, Jack, Keagan, Kirian and Oliver. Winebrenner will lead the Taste of the Valley cooking school at 2 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Parkersburg South High School auditorium. Tickets go on sale Monday and are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Also, food collections are being accepted for the Comfort Keepers Feed Seniors Now program.

PARKERSBURG — The Parkersburg News and Sentinel’s Taste of the Valley cooking school will be 2 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Parkersburg South High School auditorium where a vendors exhibition will precede the culinary demonstration.

The event is presented by The Parkersburg News and Sentinel and is sponsored by Foodland, Grand Pointe, Aaron’s, Value City Furniture and Comfort Keepers.

Chef Chad Winebrenner of the Grand Pointe Conference Center will use the winning recipes from the annual Cookbook contest held by The Parkersburg News and Sentinel to show that while the recipes are the same, different cooks have different techniques in preparing the dish. The annual tasting party of the finalist cooks is Oct. 25.

Because of the different techniques, the final results will be different, according to Winebrenner.

“They are all going to taste different,” he said.

The two-hour show will be filled with unpredictable entertainment, kitchen techniques and the secrets behind some of the award-winning recipes from the annual newspaper Cookbook competition.

Among people’s favorite recipes are comfort foods or dishes associated with special occasions or events, Winebrenner said. People associate a pleasant memory with a particular dish, he said.

“Comfort food never goes out of style,” Winebrenner said.

Preceding Winebrenner’s demonstration will be the Vendors Expo from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the cafeteria.

Tickets go on sale Monday. General admission tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door on the day of the show. VIP tickets are $50 and will entitle the patron to preferred parking, seating and refreshments in the Special VIP area sponsored by Grand Pointe.

Tickets will be available at all four local Foodland stores in Parkersburg and Vienna and at the at The Parkersburg News and Sentinel on Juliana Street in Parkersburg and at The Marietta Times on Channel Lane in Marietta.

Those who buy their tickets at Foodland through Oct. 1 also will be entered into a raffle to win a cookbook signed by last year’s Taste of Home Chef Dana Elliott.

In addition to the numerous door prizes, ticket buyers will receive a swag bag of goodies from businesses which will be showcased during the Vendors Expo, said Joe Tranquill, event coordinator and circulation manager of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel and The Marietta Times.

“We have an enormous amount of door prizes, so some attendees will even go home with a special gift or two, including our grand prize shopping spree at one of Jim Oppe’s Foodlands,” Tranquill said.

Foodland is excited to be a sponsor and is excited that this year’s event will include local flavor from the Cookbook contest, of which Foodland also is a sponsor, said Jim Oppe, owner of local Foodlands. Foodland is providing the ingredients for the Taste of the Valley, he said.

“We love it when folks cook at home,” Oppe said. “We like to be able to provide the ingredients for that.”

Aaron’s will provide the kitchen appliances, Joe Charleston of Aaron’s said.

“We’re actually donating the use of all the appliances to be used on stage,” he said.

Grants Rentals is supplying the tables.

“I am very excited about our program this year which will include local cooks and their award winning recipes from The Parkersburg News and Sentinel’s annual Cookbook,” Tranquill said. “In some cases we hope to get the local cooks on stage with Chef Chad to prepare their recipes. It will be very entertaining and fun for all.”

To benefit the Comfort Keepers’ Feed Seniors Now program, attendees who bring a food donation will be automatically entered to win a $50 Foodland card.

Feed Seniors Now collects needed food items for senior citizens in the event of inaccessibility because of inclement weather or other emergencies, such as snow or long-term power outages, said Jeannette Flowers of Comfort Keepers. Blessing Bags, which are distributed in January, are prepared from the donations, she said.

“The thought process is it will be something that will sustain them for a couple of days,” Flowers said.

Collection bins at 20 participating businesses in Parkersburg and Marietta will be distributed the first of October and will be available until around the end of the year.

Of the donations, easy-to-open containers are preferred, Flowers said. Also preferred are items that are nutritious and are individual servings, such as the Jell-O puddings or gelatins, oatmeals, soup and bottled waters.

Among the items requested are soups in cans or pouches, tuna in cans or pouches, oatmeal packets, peanut butter, peanut butter crackers, fruit and vegetable cups, Jell-O and pudding cups, cans of potted meat and small bottles of waters.