Taste of Home Cooking School makes its way to Plattsburgh

PLATTSBURGH - The people of the North Country will soon have an opportunity to get a first-rate education in the world of the culinary arts.

Denton Publications and other fine sponsors will bring the Taste of Home Cooking School to the Crete Civic Center Saturday, Nov. 6, giving people an opportunity to learn helpful tips and techniques through informative cooking demonstrations.

The event is one New Market Press, a sister corporation of Denton Publications based in Vermont, has been doing for the past five years, said associate publisher Ed Coats. This year, Coats said he was interested in bringing it to this side of Lake Champlain.

"We've always had such a strong interest in Taste of Home from people in the North Country," said Coats. "So, we decided we'd bring it to the Crete this year to give the folks here a little less of a drive."

The event will center around demonstrations from Taste of Home culinary specialist Michael Barna, who has conducted Taste of Home shows throughout New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire and New Jersey. According to the Taste of Home Web site, Barna has an extensive background in the culinary world.

When only 13 years old, Barna obtained a position washing dishes at a local retirement facility, learning the value of hard work and developing his enthusiasm for food and entertaining. His passion for food and entertaining continued as he earned an associate's degree in occupational studies from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Upon graduation from the institute, Barna headed to Atlantic City were he was a member of various kitchen brigades, opening three gourmet casino restaurants at Resorts International, Trump Plaza and Trump Marina properties.

Barna eventually moved to the Philadelphia area where he accepted the position of executive sous chef at the prestigious 5 Diamond 4 Star Rittenhouse Hotel. He later became executive chef for Dean & Deluca's Caf Bistro division, managing their three Philadelphia locations.

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