Taste of Home comes to Greenville March 8

By Ryan Schlehuber "Scoop" • Last Updated 11:55 am on Friday, February 24, 2012

GREENVILLE — Drop your whisks, grab your friends and enjoy a night of fun at the Taste of Home Cooking School, presented live at Greenville High School Performing Arts Center on March 8.
Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and the show begins at 6:30 p.m.

Taste of Home culinary specialist Eric Villegas

During this interactive event, you’ll watch top culinary expert Eric Villegas demonstrate 10 new recipes you can easily recreate in your kitchen.  Armed with new cooking tips and techniques, you’ll be sure to impress your family and friends with these sophisticated yet surprisingly easy-to-make dishes.

Not only will you leave the event with new recipe ideas, you’ll also go home with a valuable gift bag, which includes an assortment of products and coupons, including two Taste of Home magazines. You also will have a chance to win door prizes.

For more information about the event and to buy tickets, visit www.thedn.cc/tdntoh. You can also find Taste of Home on Facebook and Twitter.

Culinary specialist Eric Villegas blends passion, skill with latest recipes, tips and techniques

Meet Taste of Home Culinary Specialist Eric Villegas, who conducts Cooking School shows across the country. Eric’s passion for cooking and the flavors he finds at restaurants in different cities comes across when he talks about recipes and food.

Villegas said his love for the kitchen started with his parents, who always entertained, especially his father.
“He was a great cook and was always trying new recipes,” said Villegas, who lives near Lansing. “Additionally, my father’s job had our family frequently traveling to different parts of the world where we would visit local restaurants. I was mesmerized by what I saw and wanted to learn how to re-create the experience at home. I started small with breakfast dishes and soon was cooking entire meals for my family several nights a week!”

The passion continued from there. After earning a bachelors degree in liberal arts from Michigan State University, Villegas moved to Paris where he attended LaVarenne Ecole de Cuisine and Academie du Vin. After two years abroad, he returned to the U.S. and continued his studies at the New England Culinary Institute.

During his long and successful career, Villegas has owned two restaurants, written two cookbooks and earned two regional EMMY awards for his popular television show, “Fork in the Road with Eric Villages.”

When asked what his favorite parts of the cooking school experience are, Villegas replied,
“I thoroughly enjoy the camaraderie that is built working with the local volunteers in putting together the big show.”

Villegas also enjoys meeting so many enthusiastic fans of Taste of Home.

“They inspire me with their love of cooking and support for our program,” he said. “We’re going to have a lot of fun at this event. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it.”

Some of his favorite activities include spending time with his growing family, exploring regional and local foods from his beloved state of Michigan and taking in great architecture.

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