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Chef Harry Dominick cooks for Lunch at the Library

The smell of champagne chicken lingered through the air of the Selma-Dallas County Public Library Thursday afternoon, as Chef Harry Dominick put on a show and cooked for a hungry audience.

Dominick, the executive chef for the Edmundite Missions Bosco Nutrition Center, was the guest speaker for the library’s second “Lunch at the Library” event of 2018.

After an introduction from Becky Nichols, director for the library, the stage was all Dominick’s.

The chef cranked up the heat and started cooking a special Valentine’s Day dish of salad, champagne chicken, pureed sweet potatoes, sautéed baby squash and zucchini and berries and cream for dessert.

“I made this menu because it is close to Valentine’s Day, and I wanted you guys to cook for your significant other rather than go out to a restaurant,” Dominick told the crowd.

“It’s getting expensive to go out there, so stay home, cook with each other and talk to each other.”

During his presentation, Dominick asked for a little bit of participation from the audience.

He asked them to clap two times each time he said the word blessings, which is when he would add spices to the dish.

As he cooked, he explained each step and provided the exact ingredients used to make each dish. Dominick said

Dominick encouraged people to get back in the kitchen and even grow their own gardens.

“This is what we used to do. Everybody had their own garden years ago,” he said.

“I want them to start eating healthy and talking to one another again.”

Dominick said he hopes Thursday was just the first of many cooking shows in Selma and at the library.

“I love to cook, and I love an audience,” Dominick said. “The more, the merrier, and the bigger, the better. This is probably the first of many. I’m looking forward to many more. I just love to cook. You give me an opportunity to cook, I’m there.”

Dominick’s presentation wasn’t just about showing people how to cook a healthy, home-cooked meal, but it was also about showing the crowd what is going on at Edmundite Missions with the Bosco Nutrition Center and the missions’ recently launched social enterprise, which makes sweet treats and sells them to put money back into what they do.

The nutrition center serves more than 1,000 meals each day, and an additional 200-plus meals are delivered to people that are homebound. The missions also provides many other services to homeless and people in poverty. The missions opened in Selma in July of 1937. They recently celebrated 80 years worth of service to the community. The missions started in an abandoned brothel that was turned into a home and a chapel.

Nichols said Thursday’s event was one the best the library has hosted and looks forward to have Dominick back again sometime.

“It’s just been one of the best programs we’ve ever done,” she said.

“We love the partnership with the Edmundite Missions because they are such a powerful, powerful, caring industry in our town. You don’t look to the right and left and not see some of their good work.”

The next “Lunch at the Library” event is scheduled for March 8 and will feature another chef, Stacy Lyn, and a meal from the Orrville Farmer’s Market.

For more information or to reserve a seat, call (334) 874-1725 or visit the events page on www.selmalibrary.org.