Cooking School is great success

Wanda English Burnett

“This is just great!” Grace Sizemore of Holton, exclaimed as she settled into her front row seat at the Taste of Home Cooking Show held Tuesday night at the South Ripley Elementary School. She said she enjoyed everything from the excitement at the booths to the show itself.

Karen Reynolds, Holton, provided music to set the mood for the evening as the gymnasium at the school filled quickly with attendees. Some had waited in line for a long time with Joyce Blazier of Versailles being one of the first through the door. She was first in line to purchase her ticket for the show as well.

People from neighboring states and as far away as St. Louis, Missouri, and Australia, were there to enjoy the show that delivered everything it promised.

Dana Elliott, Taste of Home culinary specialist kept the audience engaged as she prepared eight delightful recipes that were given away at the end of the show. Attendees said she did an “outstanding job” and “kept the show moving”.

There were a number of high quality door prizes that Elliott even commented about. She told the crowd at a show in Indianapolis recently there were only four door prizes. The prizes at the local show lined four step risers, along with more gift certificates and additional prizes from the booths participating in the cooking school. After the show on Wednesday, employees in local businesses were still talking about the large amount of prizes that were given away with those who didn’t get a ticket wishing they had!

“I am always proud of our local sponsors,” Linda Chandler, publisher of the Osgood Journal and The Versailles Republican, noted. She added, “This time they seemed to go above and beyond giving more prizes than ever. It was an exceptional show all the way around.” She was pleased with the number of people who set up booths to show and sell their products, the interaction of the crowd and the professional show Elliott gave.

“I never win anything,” Glenda Adams of Brookville, smiled as her name was drawn by Chris Schmaltz of Southeastern Indiana REMC for the grand prize they sponsored, which was a freezer purchased from Four Seasons Heating and Cooling, both gourmet sponsors of the event.

Another large prize was a microwave that was given by Ripley Publishing Co. That went to Cora Newby, Greensburg, who also said she’s not lucky at these events.

Other major sponsors of the event were: Versailles and Vevay Super Market, Tom Tepe Autocenter, and The Friendship State Bank, along with a host of other businesses and individuals who gave high quality door prizes, set up booths, gave gifts for the goody bags and more.

Throughout the stage presentation, local ladies Joyce Taylor, June Kieffer, Ruth Hill and Kelly Garcia helped with food preparation. They also were there throughout the day to assist Elliott.

The evening ended with the grand finale parade of recipes that had been prepared that evening that was awarded to eight lucky people.

“Congratulations on a successful event last evening,” wrote David Fry in email correspondence to Chandler the day after the show. Fry is the director of community relations for Decatur County Memorial Hospital, one of the major sponsors of the show.

“The chef was excellent and engaged well with the audience,” wrote Tonya George of Health Centered Chiropractic, Versailles, who offered insight about possible needed chiropractic care to attendees as they stopped by their booth.

The evening was well attended with lots of smiling faces as people watched the show, collected their prizes and enjoyed homemade food from the Dabney Baptist Church booth.

Picturedabove, Roger Castner of Versailles, was all smiles as he received a blender donated by Versailles Super Market at the Taste of Home Cooking School held Tuesday night at the South Ripley Elementary School gymasium. There were numerous prizes given away at the event that saw over 600 people in attendance. Pictured below the crowd anticipates the event as Dana Elliott, culinary specialist prepares to begin the enteractive show.