Taste of Home tickets available

Tickets go on sale today for the 2013 Taste of Home Cooking School, a nationally known program that features great prizes, unique vendors and unbelievably tasty recipes.

The Inter-Mountain has brought this popular live show to the local community since 2011. This year, the show’s location will be in the new National Guard Armory near Belington – where attendees will enjoy free parking and easy access.

The show is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. May 23, and it will feature culinary specialist Cheryl Cohen – a Taste of Home expert who creates a memorable cooking experience for everyone in the audience.

“We’re excited to bring this tremendous event to the region once again,” said Heather Goodwin Henline, Inter-Mountain publisher and general manager, noting the Taste of Home Cooking School is great for new attendees as well as people who take part each time.

“The show changes every year, so it’s a whole new experience,” Goodwin Henline said. “We encourage everyone to come out and enjoy a great evening, with amazing vendors and a truly entertaining show.”

She said Cohen engages members of the audience during the cooking demonstrations, creating an experience that a cook of any level can enjoy.

“Her shows really reflect her lifelong love of food, cooking and the kitchen,” Goodwin Henline said.

Since ticket sales kick off today, there is a special running for three days only. Tickets for regular admission cost $10 each, but they will be “buy one, get one free” for today, Thursday and Friday.

VIP tickets also will be sold for the event, and they often sell out very quickly, Goodwin Henline said.

The VIP tickets, which are $20 each, will include premium seating and parking, access to a VIP tasting and other benefits.

“The VIP tickets sell like hotcakes, so anyone who wants to buy them should act now – the sooner, the better,” she said.

This year’s ticket sponsors are The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad and the Railyard Restaurant, while the VIP tasting is sponsored by Ellie May’s Restaurant at Elk Springs Resort.

The vendor expo, which will start at 2 p.m., will provide those who attend the show with an opportunity to shop and explore all this region has to offer. Food and beverages will be available throughout the expo, which will wrap up at 6:15 p.m. in time for guests to be seated for the cooking demonstration.

Because the new armory offers plenty of space on one level, the vendor show won’t have to be located in a separate building from the main show this year, Goodwin Henline said. Guests also won’t have to navigate steps, so the location should offer easier access for everyone.

Free parking also will be offered at this year’s show, she noted.

Admission to the Cooking School event not only will enable individuals to see the live demonstrations and vendors, but all participants also will receive a complimentary tote bag filled with sample products, discount offers from local and national vendors and a copy of Taste of Home magazine.

In addition, each Taste of Home Cooking School ticket holder will have a chance to win a variety of door prizes, plus a huge grand prize – a $1,000 shopping spree to Ralph’s Furniture.

“We are so excited about this year’s amazing grand prize as well as the other door prizes,” Goodwin Henline said. “We appreciate all the local businesses and organizations that work with us to make the Cooking School a success.”

Ticket sales begin today at the newspaper’s main office, which is located at 520 Railroad Ave. in Elkins. Tickets may be purchased in person or by calling 304-636-2121.

Like last year, The Inter-Mountain seeks to partner with local civic organizations, churches and clubs that would be willing to serve as prize runners during the event. The vendor portion of the show also would be a great fundraising opportunity for nonprofit groups, and limited spaces will be available.

Businesses and commercial vendors are welcome as well for a fee. Individuals interested in participating in the Taste of Home Cooking School may call Goodwin Henline at 304-636-2121, ext. 104, for more details.