2010-01-07 / Local & State

PA Preferred Culinary Connection Area to Offer Tastings, Cooking Tips at 2010 PA Farm Show

Celebrity chefs to perform demonstrations, compete in “Best Burger” showdown

Renowned chefs from Pennsylvania restaurants and national television shows will help visitors to the 2010 Pennsylvania Farm Show learn how to create culinary masterpieces from locally produced and PA Preferred ingredients, through live cooking demonstrations and competitions, Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding said last week.

“Pennsylvania is a national leader in the production of a number of agricultural products, like mushrooms, eggs and dairy products, giving visitors a unique chance to travel from the farm to the fork without leaving the Farm Show,” said Redding. “The PA Preferred Culinary Connection showcases some of our finest ingredients in recipes created by notable chefs while providing consumers with the tips and techniques they need to recreate those recipes at home. This extremely popular attraction brings together talented chefs to share their expertise and creativity using fresh Pennsylvania products.”

The PA Preferred Culinary Connection stage, located in the Main Hall of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center, will feature demonstrations by Eli Kirshtein, who was a “chef-testant” on Bravo’s “Top Chef Las Vegas;” Howard Hemler, the world’s fastest omeletmaker, who has been featured on “Oprah,” “Good Morning America” and Food Network’s “Cooking Live;” and James Batterson, Michael Geary, Mark Pawlowski, and David Stoltzfus, who make up Pennsylvania’s threetime champion Iron Chef team.

Chefs from local restaurants and cooking schools across Pennsylvania will take the PA Preferred Culinary Connection stage each hour throughout the week. Every demonstrated recipe will be sampled and with each, a Pennsylvania wine will be suggested for pairing.

Starting at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, the PA Preferred Culinary Connection stage will host Stacie & Tom Feil, winners of the Keystone International Livestock Expo’s PA Preferred Best Burger Contest in 2009 and 2008, respectively. They will lead teams of local celebrities who will compete for burger supremacy using PA Preferred beef in this exciting competition sponsored by the Pennsylvania Beef Council.

Secretary Redding urged consumers to look for the PA Preferred logo, with the gold checkmark in the blue keystone, yearround to ensure they’re buying a Pennsylvania-produced product. For a complete schedule of PA Preferred culinary events, and biographies and photos of the chefs, visit www.papreferred.com and click on “PA Preferred Culinary Connection.”

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 270 commercial exhibitors. The eight-day show is Jan. 9-16, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10 per vehicle. For more information, visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us.

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