Food Network star hosts cooking demo in Cazenovia

Audiences of over 70 were treated to cooking advice and philosophy at Cazenovia Forum's cooking demonstration featuring Chef Anne Burrell.

"Cooking is tactile," Burrell said over a pot of simmering risotto. "Smell your food, feel your food, taste your food, experience your food."

Anne Burrell, star of "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef" on Food Network, held two demonstrations on Saturday, April 4 at Dave's Diner in Cazenovia, both of which were sold-out. The event was Cazenovia Forum's first fundraiser; Cazenovia Forum brings experts in various fields to speak in Cazenovia.

The day of the event saw unseasonably snowy weather for early April, which Burrell pointed out.

"It wouldn't be April in Cazenovia unless we had a blizzard," she said.

While preparing her meal, Burrell offered various tips to the audience, with advice on cooking mushrooms, preparing risotto, cutting onions, making natural chicken stock and what kind of wine and olive oil to use in cooking (the answer: cheap wine and cheap, extra virgin olive oil).

Burrell discussed the importance of tasting food throughout the cooking process. If food tastes bad while it is still being prepared, it can still be fixed. After it's cooked, she said, nothing can salvage it.

Before Burrell's demonstration, event chair Cindy Sutton introduced Burrell and discussed the mission of Cazenovia Forum, to bring expert speakers to Cazenovia.

"We do this for free because we think it's really important," Sutton said.

Sutton was grateful for the generosity and character of Cazenovians.

"Living in Cazenovia is a treat and the people here are generous," she said.

Cazenovia Forum member Patti Christakos expressed appreciation for Sutton's hard work.

"Cindy Sutton did a wonderful job putting this together," she said. Christakos said that the Cazenovia Forum was also very grateful that Dave's Diner hosted the event.

Burrell's mother, father and other relatives were in the audience, and her sentiments were appropriate for a return to home and family.

"Food is about tradition, it's about friends, it's about family," she said.

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