Zane Grey Steakhouse Chef Uses Hands-On Approach To Cooking

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The Rim Country's top culinary notables will share their talents for a benefit to raise money for the Payson Public Library expansion project.

The Library Friends of Payson and the Payson Roundup co-host this savory event, A Taste of Rim Country, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Tonto Apache Community Center.

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Kevin DeWitt, chef at the Zane Grey Steakhouse at Kohl's Ranch, has been cooking since he was a child.

General admission tickets are now available.

Fifty percent of the ticket cost is tax-deductible. Funds raised will go toward the $1.4 million library expansion project, designed to fit the growing needs of Payson.

The plan calls for a 5,500-square-foot wing complete with wireless Internet access, 20 computer terminals and extra space.

Chef profile: Kevin DeWitt

What do you love to eat?

Fresh-roasted free-range chicken with dinner rolls.

What is the most complicated dish you have ever made?

Crusted veal loin with summer squash and lemon pepper linguini, ratatouille jus and spring flower salad.

What inspired your love of food and cooking?

My aunt was very influential in the restaurant business. She took my sister and me to the French Quarter in New Orleans, where we met famous chefs. After that, I knew that's what I wanted to do.

What is your worst cooking disaster?

When I was about 11 or 12 years old, I made a vodka cream sauce for the first time. It tasted terrible.

What is the hardest part about your job?

Guessing how much to prepare for dinner service.

What do you love most about what you do?

Cooking for people, and teaching younger people to cook with the same care and passion that I do.

Do you have advice for someone who wants to start cooking?

Learn all you can from people around you and always ask questions about things you're not sure about.

Is there a trade secret that every person who cooks should know?

Touch, taste and smell everything you prepare.

What is in your refrigerator at home?

Eggs and milk.

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