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October 3, 2012

Inspired to become a foodie

Amid a move to a new state and a new career, Suzanne DeWitt finds comfort in the kitchen

(Continued)

It’s a skill DeWitt, a former small business owner, finds especially useful each month when she volunteers as a cook for the community meals program at Saint Paul’s Church in Newburyport.

The dinner menu must be created using the ingredients supplied by the Greater Boston Food Bank — which can be a mishmash of flavors — without wasting any of the items, she says. About 50 people attend the dinner.

“It’s challenging; I find that really fun,” DeWitt says.

“It’s a gift she has,” Hall says.

Often, DeWitt will find an old familiar friend on the shelves: carrots or corn in a can. She’s turned those carrots into a souffle, and transformed the corn into a southern corn casserole.

“I like using whatever is seasonal,” she adds.

Still a fan of the Food Network, DeWitt continues to tune into her favorite shows. Watching the competition, “Chopped” each week where four professional chefs must transform a basket of ingredients into a delicious dish on a strict deadline, Hall would often joke how DeWitt should be a contestant. The challenge lies within the mystery ingredients, which typically aren’t prepared together.

So when “Chopped” recently announced that they will be hosting a special episode featuring amateur chefs, DeWitt decided to apply to be on it. As she waits to hear, DeWitt says she fantasizes about being on the show, the baskets she’ll get, and how she would practice for her time in the spotlight.

“There’s some things that would totally freak me out,” she says with a laugh.

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We’re looking to share the recipes and secrets of amateur cooks who have a knack in the kitchen and consistently amaze their family and friends with their culinary skills. If you know a great cook or are one yourself, e-mail klovett@newburyportnews.com.

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