Taste of Home to host Top Chef finalist

Jessica  Rodrigo By Jessica Rodrigo

April 8, 2015 at 10:51 p.m.
Updated April 9, 2015 at 6 a.m.

Sarah Grueneberg, "Top Chef:Texas" contestant, will be  the VIP chef for the Taste of Home Cooking School and Expo on May 21.

Sarah Grueneberg, "Top Chef:Texas" contestant, will be the VIP chef for the Taste of Home Cooking School and Expo on May 21.   CONTRIBUTED PHOTO for The Victoria Advocate

Sarah Grueneberg has vivid memories of thumbing through Taste of Home magazines at her grandmother's home in Victoria as a child.

The 33-year-old "Top Chef: Texas" contestant is returning to the Crossroads on May 21 as the Taste of Home Cooking School and Expo VIP chef.

"This is going to be my big coming back party now that I am an established chef on my own," Grueneberg said. "It's really exciting because I have roots in Victoria."

As the VIP chef, she will host a cooking session in the Victoria Community Center dome where she plans to share her knowledge of traditional Italian fare.

Her live demonstration will include making fresh pasta, a Northern Italian Bolognese - meat sauce - and an Italian shrimp cocktail.

After the VIP demonstration, she plans to join the stage with the Cooking Depot in the community center's annex where she will share more of her experiences cooking Italian food.

"I really want to take the time and explain it so people can try it at home," Grueneberg said. "Pasta is like a blank canvas, once you learn how to make it or cook it, you can do anything with it."

Throughout the Victoria Community Center, there will be vendors with food-related products and informational booths, said Jennifer Atkins, event VIP chair and retail advertising supervisor for the Advocate.

"It's an event for all the foodies out there, aspiring home cooks and pro home cooks," she said.

Jamie Dunn will host her sixth Taste of Home Cooking School demonstration in Victoria.

New to this year's event is reserved seating, Atkins said.

Tickets are on sale now for the cooking school and expo and are $75 for VIP seating, $25 for reserved seating and $15 for general admission.

The reserved seating is offered for guests who don't want the stress of finding their own seat for the cooking school, she said. Reserved tickets will give guests numbered seating in the dome and are only available for purchase by calling or visiting the Advocate office.

The expo doors will open at 3 p.m. and the doors to the dome will open at 4:30 p.m. following Grueneberg's VIP demonstration. Dunn's demonstration will begin at 6:30 p.m.

"It's going to be a busy day but a lot of fun," Atkins said.

About 800 people attended last year's show and she expects to do it again.

"It's something for all ages," Atkins said.



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