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Samsung's "Skill It" Event with Melissa D'Arabian (from Food Network)

Click *here* for the rest of the pictures I took at this event!

I was thrilled to have been invited to Samsung’s “Skill It” Event, a preview party celebrating the company’s highly anticipated debut of its newest induction range, the FTQ307NWGX.  To add a splash of star power to the event, Melissa D’Arabian, winner of “The Next Food Network Starand host of “$10 Dinners (on Food Network, as well), was asked to demonstrate some of her famous recipes using Samsung’s newest equipment.
Though the event began promptly at 4:30pm, I wasn’t able to arrive until closer to 5pm (I have a day-job, people!).  As if I wasn’t already frazzled and embarrassed enough, upon my late arrival, I was escorted to a tiny two-top table located directly in front of Melissa’s kitchen stage!  We made eye contact and she gave me a warm “it’s OK that you’re 35-minutes late” smile, making me feel
much more at-ease (for the time being).  Luckily for me, her live demo had not yet begun. 
Within a matter of five minutes, Chef Melissa began addressing the audience.  “Today, we’re going to make orzo with shallots and chanterelle mushrooms, followed by a chocolate pot-du-crème.”  After the “oooo’s” and “ahhh’s” died down, she announced that she needed a volunteer and directed her attention to me!  “Since you were late, I’d like for you to come up here and be my first helper!”  I could feel my face quickly turning crimson-red, and sweat beads beginning to roll down my back.  “Sure, no problem,” I said in a voice that cracked like pubescent teenage boy’s.  After handing me my very own Samsung apron, Chef Melissa showed me some of the range’s incredible features:
  • Boils water faster than gas and twice as fast as radiant electric
  • Cost efficient (retails for $1999.99)
  • 20-minute SteamQuick cleaning feature
  • Induction uses magnetism to heat cookware, so only cookware gets heated (not entire stove top)
  • 3-fan convection cooking combines true convection with a multi-fan system to circulate heat evenly
“See what a cool range this is?”  I smiled and nodded.  “Thanks for being my first guinea pig.  You may have a seat,” Chef said.  For the next half hour, the audience enjoyed watching Chef Melissa prepare a gorgeous orzo with sautéed chanterelle mushrooms and shallots, followed by a chocolate pot-du-crème.  From start to finish, both dishes were completed in less than thirty minutes.  I kept wondering whether or not we’d get to sample the recipes ourselves, as the intoxicatingly delicious sweet and savory smells tickled my appetite.  Sure enough, a trio of handsome young waiters brought each of us an ample-sized tasting portion of both the orzo and pot-du-crème.

Having followed the entire season of “The Next Food Network Star,” I must say that I was quite excited to have met, and acted as a guinea pig for, Melissa D’Arabian!  I’m consistently amazed by how humble and personable these celebrity chefs are in “real life.”  What a wonderfully pleasant surprise and breath of fresh air!

*Also spotted in the crowd: Miriam Garron, Bobby Flay’s assistant on “Throwdown!”


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