Six Degrees of Separation: The Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show

Assumptions get you nowhere. Honestly, it’s true. Here I thought that the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show held at the Washington Convention Center the weekend of November 13th – 14th was all about and for the foodie, the foodie-in-training and chefs from your kitchen to Paula Deen’s. Ha! Was I wrong and terribly misinformed! That amazing show was for absolutely everyone—encompassing any and everything surrounding food and the preparation . . . and even some things that would fall into the sixth degree of separation from cooking.

Armed with my 14-year-old foodie-in-training and sample-tasting king, we maneuvered through the aisles, exhibitors and crowds—our senses taking in bursts of sights, sounds and aromas. Every possible type of person was present and thoroughly enjoying themselves: Lugging the brown event bags stuffed full of giveaways or new purchases. Giggles, oohs and ahhs intermingled with cooking demonstrators excitedly spewing information about their product or soothingly walking on-lookers through step by step preparation instructions with the munch, munch hum of sample eating carrying it all. It was absolutely glorious!

And then there was Paula. Some amazing Food Network Stars were there for this event, and I was lucky enough to experience Paula Deen live. Now let me tell you this—to all you Paula fans out there—if you think she’s something on TV? Trust me when I tell you she’s so amazingly better live! And honey, when I say she was live . . . she was LIVE! Without the constraints of TV censors and 30 to 60 minute time frames (with commercials) to make a meal happen, this southern lady had me tickled pink. Between her jokes, storytelling and husband heckling, I was doubled over laughing. I’ll admit, she wasn’t always one that I’d tune into on the Food Network—but I’m officially sold! While her husband, Michael Groover, worked with another chef to actually prepare the meal, Paula walked along the stage and engaged the audience, citing, even, that she’s often called out for not actually cooking at such events.

Now on to the goods: There were the usual suspects for such an event and then those that . . . uh . . . er . . . kinda made you wonder how they ended up there. But, thanks to the six degrees of separation theory (applied to food and cooking things this go round, the humans get it enough), they too had been justified! Read on to see what I mean.

The usual suspects were at play: restaurateurs, caterers, chefs and product creators and kitchen accessory and appliance representatives all were there showing their best. Now for the Sixth Degree of Separation.

Ok – I suppose if you think of it, a lady chef needs a purse to carry her all important recipes in and jewelry to clink on her wrist as she has her fabulous cooking and entertaining future told. And a great hostess must have the elements at hand to make the total dining experience for her guests more than just a tasteful affair. After which, she must get away for a little R&R, right? Right? That’s the best way that I can justify some of our “sixth degree” exhibitors shown in the side show. Somehow, it all came together.

About Stephani E. D. McDow (7 Articles)
Before I could speak openly to the world, I communicated through my writing. For years, it seemed, writing was the only way in which I knew to speak. And, oddly enough, I was heard. I began writing at a very young age and this talent was later recognized by my being accepted into the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC. There, I specialized in writing, photography and radio production. In my youth, my work won quite a few local contests and was published in some unknown anthologies. That very love of writing and literature – art and music, culture and freedom – propelled me to pursue my BA degree in Humanities and English. I'm presently working on completing my first novel as well as having a collection of my poetry and short stories published. Though my foundation rests on my being a poet and prose writer, I have established a business in providing writing and editing services for individuals, non-profit organizations and small businesses.