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K-State News
Kansas State University
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Source: Melissa Schrader, 785-532-6438, schrader@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Stephanie Murray, 785-532-2535, media@k-state.edu

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012

A taste of Mexico: Culinary workshop with chef Taji Marie to explore Mexican cuisine

MANHATTAN -- Kansas will get a little taste of Mexico on Feb. 23 and 24 when chef Taji Marie conducts the annual Culinary Enhancement Workshop at Kansas State University. The theme of this year's workshop is "Authentic Flavors from the Regions of Mexico" and will showcase the regional diversity of Mexican cuisine.

Marie is the owner and executive chef of Simple Gourmet in Los Angeles, Calif., and has worked as a resort chef throughout the Caribbean.

The Thursday, Feb. 23, workshop is open to professionals and K-State alumni. The registration fee is $100, and is a fundraiser to help students in the department of hospitality management and dietetics, a part of the College of Human Ecology, to take part in the Friday, Feb. 24, student workshop for only $10. A $5,000 grant from the McCune Foundation also helped make it possible for the workshop to be offered to students at such a low rate. Both workshops start at 10 a.m. in the Gold Room at Derby Dining Center.

Melissa Schrader, a dietitian with K-State housing and dining services and instructor in the department of hospitality management and dietetics, said that the workshop will broaden students' perspectives and prepare them for the diverse job market they will enter after graduation.

"I think people have a misconception about Mexican cuisine," she said. "There's so much more to it than tacos and burritos."

The Culinary Enhancement Workshop is in its eighth year at the university, and has been especially popular in the last several years -- even selling out last year.

"It took a while for the word to really get out, but after about the fifth year it just really took off," Schrader said. "Students who have taken part in past workshops have been great ambassadors for the program and really helped it grow."

The two workshops will each feature demonstrations by Marie, followed by optional hands-on sessions. Samples of demonstrated recipes, lunch and beverages are included in the registration fee.

For more information on both workshops or to register, go to http://www.found.ksu.edu/culinary or contact Schrader at 785-532-6438.