M.E. Yancosek Gamble, chair of the Department of Communications and Media Arts, represented Bethany College and served as M.C. of the state Cast Iron Cook-Off, January 20-21, at The Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
The culinary competition is sponsored by The Collaborative for the 21st Century Appalachia, directed by its founder Dr. Allen Arnold. In 2010, Bethany participated on a cooking team sponsored by College alumnus George Manahan’s The Manahan Group public relations agency and Bridge Road Bistro, both of Charleston. Manahan is the professional advisor for the Bethany College chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America.
The annual Cast Iron Cook-Off is a “culinary extravaganza that showcases regional New Appalachian Cuisine, emphasizing indigenous ingredients and traditional cookware, like cast iron. Cultural events such as the Cook-Off promote current health findings, serve as valuable opportunities for chefs and farmers to connect, and remind people of the value in good, honest food,” according to the Collaborative’s website www.wvfarm2u.org.
Gamble, a volunteer promoter for the Cook-Off, first became associated with the Collaborative when she worked in Charleston as a member of Governor Joe Manchin’s economic development team. The Collaborative has developed video training modules on the emerging agri-culinary market, value-added and specialty farm products, and the earth-to-table/buy local movement.