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Seasonal dishes for entertaining focus of workshop

Published 10:22 am, Wednesday, August 20, 2014
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Two culinary experts will demonstrate how to transform locally grown, seasonal vegetables into elegant, healthy dishes for home entertaining from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4, at the New Canaan Library.

Chef Silvia Baldini, founder of Strawberry and Sage, and Analiese Paik, founder of Fairfield Green Food Guide and an author, are the presenters and will provide samples to participants.

Baldini and Paik will discuss resources for buying local and organic food and ingredients. The class will cover vegetable crudite, with a focus on knife skills and tips for displays; vegetable tarts, one crust with five different fillings; and vegetable and fruit soups, including how to use one base to create 10 soups.

Baldini dreamed of being a chef, even during her career as an art director, according to a news release from the library. After 17 years in advertising, she returned to school, graduating from Cornell University and the French Institute. She received a grand cuisine diploma from Le Cordon Bleu in London. After working as a chef at Michelin-star restaurants throughout Europe, Baldini returned to the East Coast and established her creative food group, Strawberry and Sage.

She has been featured in Saveur and the James Beard Blog and has appeared on national TV cooking shows. Among her clients are Bank of America, Royal Scottish Society and Vista Caballo, as well as private individuals, celebrities, food photographers and cookbook authors.

Paik is founder and editor of fairfieldgreenfoodguide.com and the food editor of Natural Awakenings, Fairfield County. Following a career in marketing, she attended the Institute of Culinary Education and studied wine at the International Wine Center.

Paik has been a judge for the Connecticut Specialty Food Association's Product Awards Competition for the last four years, and has been featured as a green food advocate and expert in Fairfield Magazine, Fairfield County Life, Stamford Advocate, Connecticut Cottages and Gardens and Westport Magazine, among others. She was a regular monthly guest on News Channel 8's "Good Morning Connecticut" show and for two years covered local and sustainable foods.

The workshop cost is $25. For registration or information, visit www.newcanaanlibrary.org.