The two put on The Taste of Home Cooking School, the top culinary demonstration in the country, which was sponsored by the Daily Local News, sister paper to The Mercury, and attracted more than 500 people. Schwarck and Barna presented 10 different recipes to the audience including potpie, pasta with chicken and artichokes, an orange chocolate tart, a mushroom caflouti, or quiche-like dish, and a frozen berry jam.
“To me, cooking is about sharing memories with your family,” Schwarck said after the show. “Taste of Home wants the next generation of cooks to come out. Cooking is easy and fun.”
Schwark and Barna also presented tips for home cooks on things such as keeping basil fresh and decorating cakes.
Everyone in the audience received the Taste of Home Cooking School magazine so that they could follow along with the various recipes.
“I enjoyed the different techniques and found the books very helpful to follow along with,” said Rose Cordano of Glenmoore.
Many of those in attendance were excited to get home and put the techniques and recipes they were learning into practice in their own kitchen.
“I will incorporate these things into my daily cooking,” said Toni Gray of King of Prussia. “The jam looks great.”
Mary Quirk, of Chester Springs, said that she will likely be making the mushroom caflouti.
While Vincent Deascenteiis, of Coatesville, said he was enjoying himself he made no qualms about the fact that his wife will be the one using the new recipes.
“That’s why I’m here, she wanted to come,” Deascenteiis said.
Schwark said the majority of people who talk to her after the show are truly surprised with how easy it is to make great dishes right from home.
“These are the Taste of Home readers and our loyal fans,” Schwark said. “It is great to bring the show to them. The reception we receive is great. I get goosebumps every time.”
In addition to the demonstrations, members of the audience also had the chance to win various prizes from local vendors and could ultimately win some of the dishes that were prepared on Thursday night.
Prior to the Taste of Home Cooking School, many local vendors presented various items and held raffles for people walking through the Franklin Commons. The event included 35 local vendors that had various items on display and some samples for browsing individuals.
“This was a great opportunity as far as I’m concerned,” said Buddy Martinelli, the owner of Yours Truly gift shop located on Route 23 in East Pikeland. “This is something that has been long overdue for this area. I received great feedback and about 90 percent of people didn’t even know we existed.”
For other business owners, it was just a great chance to talk with people and make new connections.
“I have met a lot of unique, great people that have gotten involved in our raffle,” said Phyllis McLaughlin, the owner of EmbroidMe in King of Prussia