Although they haven’t been featured on any of the Food Network television shows, Laura Kenny and Joanne Neft are celebrity chefs of Placer County.
Both women were in Granite Bay Sunday for the launch of their latest cookbook, “The Art of Real Food.” The event was held at Bushnell Gardens Nursery as part of a fundraiser for the Placer Breast Cancer Endowment.
“Joanne has been a big supporter of the Placer Breast Cancer Endowment and has sold her first edition book at a number of our fundraisers over the years,” said Carol Garcia, Roseville resident and chair of the Roseville-based organization formed in 2005 that has raised $750,000 to date.
Garcia said the purpose of the Endowment is to fund the Breast Cancer Endowment Chair at UC Davis and to raise awareness regarding breast cancer prevention, detection and support services.
In addition to the book signing and fundraiser, Snow’s Citrus Court citrus grove in Newcastle, Lone Buffalo Winery in Auburn and Smokey Ridge Charcuterie in Placerville were on hand offering guests samples of their products.
Josh Huntsinger, Placer County Agriculture commissioner, said the idea of combining the cookbook launch with some of Placer County’s farmers and winemakers is a perfect way to showcase a few of the highlights of what the region has to offer.
“Visitors to this event not only had the opportunity to learn about some great ways to prepare local produce from Joanne and Laura’s cookbook but they were able to meet some additional PlacerGROWN producers,” Huntsinger said.
Kenny and Neft said they have been pleased with the response their book has received.
“People are finally learning to connect the dots about what they eat and the connection to healthy living,” Neft said. “What you eat can change the way you feel, look and your attitude.”
Laura Tyrrell, a Granite Bay resident and board member of the Placer County Endowment agreed.
“Supporting our local farmers and cooking food grown from our local producers is a preventative, natural way to keep healthy,” Tyrrell said.
Jocelyn Maddoux of Lone Buffalo said she enjoys participating in as many community events as she can.
“Getting to know your neighbors is important,” Maddoux said. “The more the public knows about what is produced here in Placer County the better everyone will be. Our farmers are passionate. We all love to share our passion and form relationships with those who are interested in our products.”
Susan Belknap is with Merlot Marketing in Sacramento.