Cooking Demonstrations

The Cooking Demonstrations are an exciting element of the festival, which feature six local professional chefs and six one of a kind garlic recipes. Attendees can watch each chef demonstrate their unique recipe, ask questions, then enjoy a small sample of their hard work. Of course, garlic is an ingredient in all of the recipes that are prepared right before your eyes.

And we also have a Cooking with Garlic cookbook (available at the Information Tent) that is a compendium of the many recipes that have been demonstrated over the years as well as copies of some of the Chef Demo leaflets that accompanied the events.

Here are the 2023 chefs:

Saturday, September 30, 11:30am:  Leslie Cerier, The Organic Gourmet

Leslie provides Vegetarian Cooking from the Heart.   She is an internationally renowned farm to table chef, cookbook author, and cooking coach.  Specializing in vegetarian, vegan, plant based, & gluten free cooking, she invites you to experience organic lifestyle & Loving Kindness in the Kitchen for health & happiness. Leslie is also an artist and award winning Impressionistic nature photographerIn addition to being a personal chef to so many individual people, Leslie is also the author of six cookbooks on healthy foods and trains chefs worldwide. She develops recipes and products for organic and natural food companies and individuals. She has special expertise for people with dietary sensitivities.

Saturday, September 30, 1pm: Andrew Sussman

Andrew Sussman grew up in the family business of grocery stores in New Britain Connecticut and is a multi-award winning chef. In 1989 he graduated from Ecole de La Varenne in Paris, one of the first professional cooking schools in France to offer simultaneous instruction in French & English and accredited, professional culinary degrees. He has been President and Chief Consultant at Culinary Consultants since 1998.

Since returning to western MA in 1998, Andrew has been involved with the organizations Community Involved with Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), Share Our Strength and Operation Frontline (now Cooking Matters), teaching underprivileged families healthy eating and cooking habits. In 2005 he opened Butternuts Restaurant and Catering Company with the intention of serving creative New England cuisine in its natural setting with the freshest locally grown products and making those dishes available to the people involved with growing them.

This festival is his final show after retiring last year. “I think it would be fun to go out with a bang and can not think of a better way and better people!” He will be preparing a Coq au Vin for the demo.

Saturday, September 30, 2:30pm:  Jamilla Jones

Jamilla is a remarkable individual passionate about education, urban gardening, and cooking. She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education and has dedicated her life to teaching young minds. Jamilla’s love for education is evident in her ability to inspire and encourage her students to achieve their full potential. Aside from her career in education, Jamilla also has a green thumb and is an experienced urban gardener. Jamilla believes in the importance of sustainable living and strives to lead by example. In addition to gardening, Jamilla is also an accomplished cook. She holds a degree in culinary and operational development. Jamilla enjoys experimenting with new recipes and creating unique and flavorful dishes. Her passion for cooking has led her to develop her own gardening and culinary curriculum for young people, filled with wholesome and delicious recipes that reflect her love for fresh and locally sourced ingredients and her ancestry. In addition to working with youth Jamilla owns a catering company Teacher Gourmet where she focuses on the food from her childhood.  Jamilla is currently the executive director for Eagle Eye, an organization that makes nature and agriculture available to youth from diverse backgrounds. She is a true testament to the notion that anything is possible with hard work, determination, and a little passion.

Sunday, October 1, 11:30am: Nalini Goordial

Nalini Goordial, a passionate cook, is the founder behind KitchenWizardry, a spice and tisane company with a strong community focus.  She learned to cook at a very early age but cooking was just a necessity, fulfilling the demands of daily life.

Later in life captivated by the alchemy of ingredients and the meditative process of preparation she embarked on a journey of rediscovery. Cooking became a way for her to reconnect with her heritage and unlock a world of flavors that not only feed the body but also nourish the soul.  Nalini’s online presence encourages a vibrant community. She shares stories, recipes, and cooking tips, inviting customers and followers to join the conversation and share their own experiences. KitchenWizardry is not just about flavors; it’s about building stronger communities through food, celebrating diversity and fostering connection.

Sunday, October 1, 1pm:  Jeremy Werther

Jeremy Werther is the chef and owner of Homestead in Northampton. After six years away following graduation from UMass Amherst, Jeremy returned to the Pioneer Valley after shaking pans at some of Boston’s finest, busiest, and tastiest establishments. Always learning and putting out the best plates he can, he’s finally created a Homestead of his own in Northampton where he makes all the pasta from scratch, maintains a seasonal, inventive menu, and listens to rock all in a warm, friendly, and open dining room. Chef’s vision is to welcome everyone into his kitchen the way his family did, always spending time in the kitchen during gatherings and celebrations.

Sunday, October 1, 2:30pm:  Brandon Shantie

Chef and Instructor at the Stone Soup Café at the All Souls Church in Greenfield. They recently started formalizing a curriculum for students who want to learn culinary arts. Chef Shantie says, “what really excites me, is that teaching gives me the opportunity to share the wealth of experience I have gained from working in the culinary field for over half my life. The culinary program allows us to teach knife skills and life skills. Our small class sizes and personalized classroom experience will leave our students better prepared to excel in whatever fields they find themselves in.” – Ashley Shook & Kate Wilkinson, WWLP news