Getting a taste

To say the recipes Chef Guy Klinzing shared during the Taste of Home Cooking School in the Decker Auditorium at Iowa Central Community College are “just like Mom used to make” isn’t too far from reality.

“The recipes in the magazine are submitted by home cooks,” Klinzing said Thursday.

Once the staff tests the recipes, they are published and some are selected for inclusion in the traveling Cooking School.

He has a goal for every audience.

“We want to inspire, educate and share recipes with them that have a direct application to their family,” he said.

During the night, he shared 10 recipes that were a mix of appetizers, desserts and entrees.

“They were picked with the season in mind,” he said, referring to spring.

Not only are the recipes within the reach of the average home cook to prepare, the results can exceed what they might expect.

“These are restaurant-quality meals for the home cook,” Klinzing said.

Home cooks won’t have to hunt for any exotic ingredients, either.

“You can find the ingredients at Hy-Vee,” he said. “You need little or no specialized equipment either.”

One of the things Klinzing enjoys about presenting the Home Cooking School is that he gets help from a variety of individuals, both on the stage and behind the scenes.

During Thursday night’s school, a crew of first-year Iowa Central Culinary Arts program students were kept busy doing everything from chopping onions to making samples of the recipes.

“They’re doing an awesome job,” Klinzing said.”They are first-year students that cook like pros.”

One of those students was Melissa Duncan, of Rockwell City.

She had zero stage fright.

“I’m beyond excited,” she said. “Helping with a live show is great in our resumes.”

Taste of Home is a familiar publication.

“I grew up reading it,” she said.

A fellow student, Kristen Folley, of Akron, was excited to be helping too. She didn’t have stage fright either. Instead, she was looking forward to the experience.

“It will be fun to learn how to do this in front of an audience,” Folley said.

At other shows, Klinzing has had homemakers and the wives of farmers, ranchers and miners help him.

When he’s not busy with the 30 to 40 shows in 23 states that he does every year, he is a food consultant, an actor and singer, and – for fun – he’s a storm chaser.

In addition to Thursday night’s Cooking School, those attending could visit with vendors set up in the nearby Hodges Fieldhouse.

One of them, Abbie Laufersweiler, of Fort Dodge, has only been in business as a Jamberry independent consultant for three weeks, so the show was her first.

She was busy showing potential clients how to apply the stick-on nail decor she sells. But once the cooking lessons began, she was headed for the auditorium.

“I’m going to try to get there,” she said.

Sondra Godsell, of Belmond, was making an evening of it with her mom, Donna Cooper, of Iowa Falls. The tickets were an early Mother’s Day gift.

“She deserves something nice,” Godsell said.

That might have included the chair Godsell was trying out at the Mikos & Matt Fine Furniture booth. Not only does it recline and offer a foot rest, it also features a USB port to power electronic devices.

Corinne Mikos, co-owner of the store, was happy to demonstrate it.

“It gives you the juice,” she said.

She, too, was planning on making it into the auditorium for the cooking demonstrations.

“It’s really a fun experience,” she said. “It’s fun to get new recipes.”