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Thursday, November 15, 2007

DuBois Woman On Food Network This Weekend

DuBOIS - For one area woman, winning a contest on the Food Network was a dream come true this summer.

Teresa Brownlee, formerly of Locust Street, DuBois, was a winner in the Food Network's contest entitled "Give us your Thanksgiving dilemma." Brownlee submitted her problem, "How to utilize a small kitchen to feed a crowd."

Brownlee works for the IUP Culinary School in Punxsutawney as an admissions counselor and readily admits to being a "foodie," a person who enjoys watching cooking shows. However, she never expected to be chosen to be on a cooking show.

Officials from the Food Network chose Brownlee for a surprise visit from Chef Robert Irvine, who hosts the show "Dinner: Impossible," then contacted DuBois Fire Chief Joe Bigar and enlisted his help in the surprise.

Bigar said, "The Food Network contacted me and needed 20 firefighters to eat food and act like 20 guests at Brownlee's home."

Bigar was happy to oblige, and rounded up firefighters from Volunteer Hose Company No. 1, located on East Park Avenue. Some of the firefighters are friends with Brownlee and her husband, but no one "let the cat out of the bag" by telling the secret.

Meanwhile, a representative from the Food Network called Brownlee and asked her several questions about how she would feel if she were interviewed as part of a show. Brownlee agreed to being filmed, checking her e-mail. All the while, Brownlee suspected nothing out of the ordinary. She believed she was only going to be interviewed regarding her kitchen layout, etc.

The film crew showed up - all 15 of them - including producers, cameramen and even a food stylist. Brownlee said the film crew tore her house apart and moved furniture to make room for the taping of the show. At 8 a.m. that Friday, "They showed up and watched me check my e-mail, then asked to see the garden area outside," according to Brownlee. While she took some of the crowd on a "garden tour," other workers brought in food to be used in making the surprise dinner.

Brownlee had just re-entered the home when the front door opened and Chef Robert Irvine shouted, "Honey, I'm home!" Brownlee said. "It was so shocking when Chef Irvine walked in the door."

Chef Irvine enlisted Brownlee's help in the kitchen, and together they made 16 dishes. Most were traditional Thanksgiving Day items such as turkey and mashed potatoes. Irvine also led Brownlee in making a dish of mashed turnips and carrots and "queens" pudding, known in the U.S. as bread pudding.

The kitchen in the home was so small that in order for one cameraman to film the pair cooking, he had to stand outside on the deck and film through a window.
The firefighters arrived in full force, in engines with lights flashing. Everyone enjoyed the buffet dinner and the food was delicious, Brownlee said.

Having the Food Network do this show "really puts DuBois on the map," according to Brownlee.
She and her husband recently sold their Locust Street home and moved to the Beechwoods area outside Falls Creek. Brownlee said when selling the Locust Street home, she was sure to tell prospective buyers about the famous house that once was a part of a Food Network show.

According to the Food Network Web site, the show entitled "Dear Food Network: Thanksgiving" will be aired at 4 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. Saturday; 4 p.m. Sunday; 9 p.m. Monday; noon, Tuesday; and 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

From DuBois Courier Express

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