The Winston-Salem Journal attempts to be a good neighbor, not only by reporting the news, but by contributing and participating in the community in various ways. This may be through in-kind contributions to local charities. It may be with its Twin City Talks community forums, which attempt to increase dialogue and understanding. It may be through volunteer efforts. (This editor will be participating as a “celebrity judge” in the WiseMinster Dog Show on Saturday, to benefit the Forsyth Humane Society.)

Still, we try not to toot our own horn too much; so many other contributors deserve the attention.

But at the beginning of November, the Journal, along with other community partners, will sponsor Taste of the Twin City, an event that brings celebrity cook Brian Morris to Winston-Salem for a fun and informative cooking lesson.

Morris, the director of operations for Hattie B’s, a chain of hot-chicken restaurants based in Nashville, has extensive experience giving cooking demonstrations in front of live audiences — which means he knows how to entertain. He also knows high-dollar entertainers like actress Nicole Kidman, rocker Steven Tyler and baseball star Derek Jeter, for whom he has worked as personal chef. A graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, Morris “has plenty of experience teaching cooking to people of every skill level,” the Journal’s Food Editor, Michael Hastings, reported last week. And he likes to have a laugh with members of the audience without embarrassing them (we hope).

The show will have two halves, Morris told the Journal. “We’ll pretend that the first half is the week before a holiday party, and we’ll do all the prep,” Morris said. “The second half is like the day of the party, and the audience will get to see how easy it is to pull all this off.” Morris, or “Chef Brian,” says his presentation is great for date night and it’s a great family event.

He’s attentive to dietary restrictions, the Journal reported. “I also want to show people that simple flavors always win. It’s not about fancy for me. It’s not about gimmicks and all kinds of garnishes, but doing a simple recipe perfectly.”

To be clear, this isn’t to benefit a charitable cause; it’s a for-profit event. The Journal has tried to keep it affordable, with a discount for Journal subscribers.

But we feel it’s worthy of a little notice. We hope it will attract members of the community who find joy in cooking — and eating — and who may benefit from a little preparation and inspiration for the approaching holiday season. Family gatherings are, unfortunately, sometimes tense these days. Having a few tricks at hand in the kitchen might help smooth things over.

Taste of the Twin City will be held from 5-9 p.m. on Nov. 7 at the Millennium Center downtown. The night before, Taste of the Gate City will be held at the Carolina Theatre in Greensboro, sponsored by our sister newspaper, the Greensboro News & Record.

For more information, go online to: tasteofthetwincity.com.

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