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Limited seating still available for Lowville cooking show

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LOWVILLE — A limited supply of tickets remains available for the Taste of Home Cooking School here Saturday, but organizers said they’re going fast.

“The best bet is to call ahead,” said Arlene S. Hall, executive director at Mountain View Prevention Services.

VIP tickets for the show — a fundraiser for the programs and activities for youth the agency offers — have long been sold out, but a number of $15 general admission tickets were still available as of Thursday afternoon.

While tickets still may be purchased at the door if available, Mrs. Hall suggested those interested call the Mountain View office today at 376-2321 to ensure that a seat will be open.

The all-day event will be held in the auditorium of Lowville Academy and Central School, with the doors opening at 11 a.m.

Anyone may check out the vendors and get something to eat during the event, but only ticket-holders will be admitted to the 2-hour show in the afternoon conducted by Chef Eric Villegas.

“They’d better have seat belts, because I’m going to rock the house,” said Mr. Villegas, a native of Saginaw, Mich., who toured several area food-related sites Thursday and was slated to visit more today.

The chef noted that for the price of a $15 ticket, attendees will receive gift bags with recipes, magazine subscriptions and coupons valued at well over $60.

“It doesn’t make fiscal sense not to come,” he said.

Those in attendance also will have an opportunity to win several door prizes, including all 10 dishes, from appetizers through desserts, prepared by the chef. And bringing a nonperishable food item for the local food pantry will place an attendee’s name in a drawing for an additional door prize.

Mountain View is focusing on collecting food items for school backpacks that go home with many children on the weekends. All items collected will be divided among Lewis County schools with backpack programs. Ideal food items to donate include peanut butter and crackers, single-serve food dishes and small packs of fruits and vegetables.

Mr. Villegas promised that the audience at Saturday’s event will be informed and entertained.

“It’s a way to support the community, as well,” he said.

Half of the dishes to be prepared Saturday came from recipes submitted to Taste of Home magazine, while the others come from several prominent national food brands, the chef said.

Throughout his career, Mr. Villegas has opened two restaurants, written two cookbooks and earned two regional Emmy awards for his popular television show, “Fork in the Road with Eric Villegas.”

Primary sponsors for the event here are National Grid, Brown’s Home Appliance Center, Foy Agency, Jeb’s Restaurant, Steele’s Ace Home Center, Tops Friendly Markets and the Journal and Republican.

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