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Paula Deen to host cooking challenge during High Point Market

 Image of Paula DeenPaula Deen

HIGH POINT — Celebrity chef Paula Deen will host the Great Party Challenge, a culinary design competition, during the spring High Point Market.

Sponsored by the High Point Market Authority and Universal Furniture, the event at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 21, will incorporate the spring market theme of "inspiration."

"We are excited about having Paula Deen officiate over this type of event at High Point Market," said Cheminne Taylor-Smith, vice president of marketing for the Market Authority. "Creative cooking competitions are popular all over the country, so it's wonderful to have one here in High Point. It's a great opportunity for local culinary students to show off their talents and be able to receive Paula's unique brand of feedback. And it offers buyers a fun, entertaining event during market."

Deen is a television personality, cookbook author, magazine publisher and restaurant owner. She also has a licensed line with Universal Furniture, which will be introducing a new Paula Deen Home collection this spring.

During the Great Party Challenge, five teams of local culinary students will design and prepare edible centerpieces inspired by one of five family parties: a child's birthday, graduation, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. The students will have a limited amount of time to create their centerpieces, which must be 24 or more inches high.

"When I invite people into my home, I love to have a centerpiece that pulls the party together and creates a focal point," Deen said. "I can't wait to see what these talented students come up with. What'll make this even more exciting is that they have under an hour to pull it off."

At the conclusion of the challenge, 50 buyers in the audience will have the opportunity to meet Paula. Everyone who attends will receive a copy of the May issue of Cooking with Paula Deen.

"Paula brings such energy into all that she does," says Jeff Scheffer, president and CEO of Universal. "Along with the launch of Paula's new River House Collection this spring, we want to showcase her love of cooking and encouraging young chefs with her knowledge and sense of showmanship."

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