Reading for eating

A quarterly publication highlighting restaurants, chefs and recipes of the Capital District will donate part of its profits to the Regional Food Bank as a way to fight hunger and end starvation in the area.

Culinary Celebrations is a new quarterly publication created by Laura Barokas.

The whole reason for the book is to stop starvation and feed the Capital Region, Barokas said during the Thursday, June 19, ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza.

Barokas has been publishing since 2004 with the USA Weddings and Party Online magazines, before that, she ran the Slingerlands restaurant Auberge Suisse for 15 years, where she gained an appreciation for fine foods.

The magazine is a 100-page publication that reflects the fine dining opportunities around the Capital District, and the $9.95 price comes with a "celebrations card" that gives readers discounts at local restaurants and entertainment venues.

Along with the discounts, restaurant reviews, chef interviews and recipes, $2 of every magazine sold will go to the Regional Food Bank.

"We are very grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of Culinary Celebrations," said Joanne Dwyer, director of food sourcing and business development executive for the Regional Food Bank.

Dwyer met Barokas through Party Online, where she first came up with the idea for sharing a love for food with those who need food.

"[Laura] did an article in an older publication about the Food Bank, and then she got involved with us, and we maintained a connection," said Executive Director of the Regional Food Bank Mark Quandt. "The connection between the Food Bank and love of food was a perfect connection for her. It was really Laura more than anything we did."

"I would like to thank my staff for the countless hours they have put in to bring Culinary Celebrations to fruition, and all of the restaurants and culinary-related businesses that are a part of this first issue," said Barokas in a written statement about the first issue. "Everyone can feel good knowing that their purchase of Culinary Celebration will help the Food Bank meet the increasing need for food assistance."

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