Celebrity chef to visit Gwinnett Belk stores

LAWRENCEVILLE - Celebrity chef Lorena Garcia will visit two local Belk stores Sunday to promote her new line of products.

Garcia's first stop is the Snellville Pavilion Belk store at 1 p.m., and later the Belk store at the Mall of Georgia at 4 p.m. Garcia will demonstrate how to prepare an organic cucumber carpaccio and creme de papaya dessert using cookware and dishes from her signature line - Lorena Garcia Lifestyle Collection - that debuted exclusively at Belk stores in February.

"It's actually a very nice, practical line that people are going to be able to use for a while," said Garcia, a native of Venezuela. Garcia studied culinary arts at Johnson and Wales University and has studied as an apprentice chef in France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Thailand and China. She owns two restaurants in Miami.

Garcia said her product line reflects her Latin heritage and the passion she puts into in her food, as well as her experiences in the kitchen.

"I always wanted to tweak little things here and there that make my cooking process easier, and that's actually what we achieved with this line," she said. "I created a set of knives that are especially for small hands and will fit better for women's hands. Those little things, I always pay attention to them."

Garcia said lime green is one of her favorite colors and can be seen throughout the line, which also includes biodegradable items.

"Practicality, mix-and-match pieces, things that you can interlock with each other, that's very important to me," she said.

Garcia has already begun working on the designs for products for spring.

"It's going to be amazing. I have bold, bright colors (and) the bedding that is coming in is beautiful," Garcia said.

For more information on Lorena Garcia, visit www.cheflorenagarcia.com.

SideBar: If you go

· What: Cooking demonstration and Q&A session with celebrity chef Lorena Garcia

· When: 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday

· Where: Snellville Pavilion Belk store, 2059 Scenic Highway, Suite 110, Snellville, at 1 p.m.; Mall of Georgia Belk store, 3333 Buford Drive, Buford, 4 p.m.

· More information: Call the Snellville Pavilion Belk store at 678-344-8484 or the Mall of Georgia Belk store at 678-714-9914