YEAR AF TER YEAR, the Sunbelt Ag Expo hosts
cooking demonstrations with a handful of the
South’s best chefs, and this year is no exception. The lineup for the Georgia Marketplace
stage is greater than ever before.
Holly Chute, executive chef for the Georgia
Departments of Agriculture and Economic
Development, will be accompanied by First
Lady Marty Kemp in presenting a demonstration on how to create a bacon, apple,
kale, egg white and cheese breakfast burrito
on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, at 9 a.m. on the
Georgia Marketplace stage.
Being the most visible face that promotes
locally grown and crafted products with
Georgia Grown, she is sure to have some new
cooking tips up her sleeve.
“My goal when doing demos is to show
consumers how to incorporate our members’
products into their everyday menus,” says
Chute. “I try to do easy seasonal recipes with
ingredients that are easy to source. Many of
our Georgia Grown members are at Sunbelt
Expo and can further educate people about
their products. It is all about education and
promoting locally sourced ingredients.”
Another well-known chef that will be fea-
tured during the cooking demos is Clay Oliver,
owner of Oliver Farms. He will be presenting
two demonstrations with his wife Valarie, one
demonstration of which will be the assem-
bling of an appetizer board using Georgia
grown products, oils, and nuts.
The Oliver’s will also be creating a boiled
peanut hummus using Two Nutty Chicks
peanuts and citrus. These presentations will
take place at 12: 30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15,
on the Georgia Marketplace stage. Clay Oliver
invites attendees to “stop by the Oliver Farm
booth and taste the freshest, most awarded
oils in the South. Our cooking demos will utilize
Georgia grown products and leave you amazed
at the many ways to use our pure, natural oils.”
Adding to the line-up will be Jason Russell.
Growing up in Moultrie, he never appreciated
the rich agriculture of the area until leaving
home to attend culinary school in Atlanta.
After bouncing around working for a mix
of food establishments and attending class,
Jason Russell realized the bounty that was
rooted in his home of South Georgia.
After school, Jason found his way to Sea
Island off the coast of Georgia. It boasts the
only Forbes Five-Star Resort in the world to
earn their five stars for nine years in a row. His
responsibilities grew over his ten years there,
including overseeing all banquet operations,
all restaurant outlets at The Cloister hotel and
being a founding member of their Food, Drink
and Music Festival.
Russell was instrumental in opening The
Market at Sea Island, an upscale eatery and
grocery. After leaving Sea Island as Executive
Chef in 2016, Jason has lent his passion and
expertise as a consultant for restaurant groups.
He has most recently, happily settled in his
hometown area of South Georgia and looks
forward to embracing his Georgia roots and
starting a revival celebrating southern cuisine.
Laura Bernardi Piovesana, originally from
Italy, will also join the stage. She learned to
make gnocchi alongside her grandmother,
delighting in rolling and twisting the dough
into fanciful shapes.
“To keep us busy, my grandmother would
give me and my sister each a piece of gnocchi
dough to play with while she was making
them. We thought it was like Play-Doh”.
At the time, learning to cook was just a part
of Laura’s everyday life. She had no idea that
she would one day use her cooking skills and
cultural background to re-invent herself in a
country half a world away.
Encouraged by her friends to start offering cooking classes, Laura coupled her culinary background with her marketing skills
and started her own business, The Italian
Wooden Spoon, offering classes from
“Chef Laura.” The Italian Wooden Spoon has
enjoyed five successful years in Texas, two
in Gainesville, Florida, and almost 3 years in
Southwest Georgia offering weekly cooking
classes and private dinner services.
Like most chefs, Laura stresses that the
quality and freshness of the ingredients
is critical to a good meal. She combines
Georgia Grown products and authentic
Italian recipes using fresh, in-season products with no preservatives.
To learn more about the many other hosts
including Lara Lyn Carter, Stripling’s General
Store, and Two Nutty Chicks, be sure to download the Sunbelt Ag Expo mobile app to stay
up to date on the event schedule.
Prepare meals with Georgia's finest
Diego Ledesma 863-673-2015
Brian Blanchett 229-392-7305
229-517-1177 • 716 Gil Harbin Industrial Blvd • Valdosta, GA