The WZID Women’s Expo will be especially tasty this year, with pie guru Rodney Henry of Next Food Network Star featured as a guest and a cooking stage with demos from local restaurants and bakeries.
“I love doing this kind of stuff, like demos, and meeting folks is a blast,” Henry said during a phone interview. “[Fans] think I’m a rocker or kind of a goofball, which is kind of true. What was cool about it was that the show [Next Food Network Star] pretty much portrayed me as exactly as I am. Everyone else there was trying to fit a certain image. … All I wanted to do was rock and roll and bake pies.”
It’s the first year the expo will also feature a cooking stage, coordinator Jennifer Cannon said, but it’s not the first time culinary TV fame has come on board for the annual event. A couple years ago, one of Bravo’s Top Chef contestants gave a cooking demo. This year, Cannon said, there will be a lot more to watch and eat.
There are five other cooking demonstrations scheduled throughout the day — including mahi mahi on grilled flour tortillas from T-Bones’ chef Nicole Barreira, and a cupcake and frosting demo by Gone Baking. Van Otis Chocolates, Pickety Place and Cucina Aurora will be there as well.
“They’re going to have samples of everything they’re making after the demonstration,” Cannon said.
It’s also the first year the Expo has ever had a Wine Garden. Guests will be able to sample wine from eight New Hampshire wineries, including LaBelle Winery, Jewell Towne Vineyards and Flag Hill Winery.
In addition to all the food and wine happenings, Dancing with the Stars fans might even get a chance to share a number with dancer Tony Dovolani. Dovolani joins Henry as a guest entertainer for the program, and Cannon said WZID is running a contest for a lucky winner to join Dovolani as his dance partner.
There’s a lot to watch this year, plus around 140 booths from food vendors, local hospitals, supermarkets, spas and retailers. Another highlight is the Award Ceremony for the 20 Outstanding Women You Should Know.
“It’s unbelievable to me what some of the women do,” Cannon said. “It just blows me away.”
Since there’s so much to see and taste this year, Cannon recommends planning your day around scheduled programming.
“We tell people they should come early and plan to stay for a while,” she said. “I just think it’s a great event for women and families of any age. My kids come and they love to see the talent every year.”
As seen in the March 6, 2014 issue of the Hippo.