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Emmy-winning chef to headline cooking school
Tickets go on sale Monday for this year's Taste of Home Cooking School, featuring a chef whose show earned two Emmy Awards.
The evening of live cooking demonstrations, free cookbooks and gift bags takes place Thursday, Nov. 15. It will also feature a VIP package that will include premium seating and a pre-event meal prepared by Yuma Foodie columnist Karla Billdt.
This year's Taste of Home presenter will be chef Eric Villegas. He trained in France, studied at the New England Culinary Institute and starred in the Emmy-winning TV show “Fork in the Road with Eric Villegas” on PBS.
“We're really excited to have him coming to Yuma,” said event organizer Karen Phillips. “This is the first time we've had a male presenter with Taste of Home, plus one that's a chef.”
Villegas presents live cooking events from coast to coast.
“I thoroughly enjoy meeting so many enthusiastic fans of Taste of Home. They inspire me with their love and cooking and support for our program,” Villegas said. “I also really enjoy the camaraderie that is built working with the local volunteers in putting together the big show.”
The Yuma Sun's Newspapers in Education program has brought Taste of Home Cooking School to Yuma for the past 20-plus years.
“It's the best cooking school you'll see all season,” said Phillips, NIE manager in Yuma. “This event isn't just for women. It's for women, men and children, just anyone who is interested in cooking.”
Attendees will receive free cookbooks and cooking magazines. Other cookbooks will also be for sale. Villegas will be available for autographing cookbooks after the event.
Tickets for Taste of Home Cooking School are being sold at the Yuma Sun, 2055 S. Arizona Ave. For more information, contact Phillips at 539-6806 or email@example.com.
A limited 26 VIP seats cost $100 each. Premium seats are $13 and general admission seats $10. A new category of admission is being offered this year: a $5 ticket for teachers and students.
The venue for the event will be the Gila Ridge Performing Arts Center.
Meet the chef:
Eric Villegas conducts Cooking School shows throughout the country, from California to New Jersey.
He currently resides with his wife and daughter near Lansing, Mich. He studied liberal arts at Michigan State University then moved to France to attend Anne Willan's LaVarenne Ecole de Cuisine and Steven Spurrier's Academie du Vin. After two years abroad, he returned to the U.S. and continued his studies at the New England Culinary Institute.
Villegas has opened two restaurants, written two cookbooks and earned two regional Emmy awards for his television show, “Fork in the Road with Eric Villegas.”