Eager public savors ‘Taste’ in Marietta

MARIETTA – Whether a seasoned chef or microwave maven, hundreds of culinarily curious individuals converged at Marietta College’s Dyson Baudo Recreation Center Thursday night for the eighth Taste of Home Cooking School.

“I’m hoping there’s something new for everybody tonight,” said Taste of Home culinary specialist Cheryl Cohen.

Cohen, who has been hosting Taste of Home cooking schools for six years, had plenty of recipes in her repertoire Thursday, whipping up 10 dishes during the two-hour event. The Marietta Times co-sponsored the Taste of Home Cooking School along with the Food 4 Less and Warren’s IGA supermarkets.

“We’re gonna teach you a little French cooking and show you just how easy it can be,” said Cohen as the succulent smell of chicken paillard with cherry sauce and parsley rice took over the large room.

Trying all the new recipes is what draws Sandra Brown, 69, of Mineral Wells to the Taste of Home events, she said.

“I’ve been here and Ripley both,” said Brown, who brought her friend Kathy Collins to the event as a birthday present.

“I’ve never been to one. I work in a school system as a cook, and I thought it might be nice to get some ideas,” said Collins, 54, of Freeport, W.Va.

Marietta resident Cherylann Cox, 54, was enjoying her first Taste of Home experience from the front row thanks to her daughter, 34-year-old Missy Lutz.

“She’s my mom and she deserves to have something nice done for her,” said Lutz.

Cox loves to cook, and said she was most looking forward to the cooking segments.

It is a good trade off, added Lutz, who is expecting a baby in August.

“I like to eat,” she said with a smile.

Before the cooking show and at intermissions, attendees enjoyed samples and product and service demonstrations from dozens of vendors with booths set up around the room.

Michelle Crum of Whipple raved about her new discovery.

“The wine purses. They are the most awesome thing here. I’m going to buy one,” said Crum, 46, as she checked out the many options offered by Moundsville business, The Bag Lady.

Crum and her mother, 70-year-old Jane Cox, were also scoping out possible recipes for Crum’s daughter’s upcoming graduation party.

“The Broughton’s ice cream was delicious. That was a favorite,” added Cox.

Vendor Amanda Sams was offering samples of milk chocolate cinnamon dusted almonds and chocolate covered espresso beans from her local Dove Chocolate Discoveries business.

“It’s nice having a cooking show to get experience from. There’s been a lot of foot traffic and I’ve noticed a few people who are not even from this area,” said Sams.

Sams’ new home-based chocolate business offers chocolate tasting parties, premium chocolate products not found in stores, and more, she said.

“I always enjoy visiting with customers and friends and showing off any new items,” said Food 4 Less manager Bucky Lee, who was giving out many samples including Cuties, tiny California Mandarins.

Those in attendance received take-home samples and a cookbook, which showed how to prepare several of the dishes in the Taste of Home cookbook, including all 10 featured by Cohen at the event.