STERLING – For Guy Klinzing, it all started in his grandmother’s kitchen.
As a kid, Klinzing grew up splitting his time between Chicago and the upper peninsula of Michigan, where he would spend summers with his grandmother, learning her ways and her recipes – especially for cinnamon rolls.
“Like that Donny & Marie song, I was a little bit country, a little bit rock ’n’ roll,” he said, laughing.
He now passes on his grandmother’s recipes to his four children and counts spending time making cinnamon rolls with them as one of his favorite things to do.
“Almost all the important things in life happen around the kitchen table,” he said.
His work as a culinary specialist with the Taste of Home Cooking School allows him to stay as close to that table as possible, including for this interview. When he answered the phone at his home in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, he was sitting at his kitchen table.
Klinzing, who has a background working in the chocolate industry, now carries that passion for pairing family and food into his role as a culinary specialist, a job that has taken him on the road to do more than 150 shows in 23 states.
On Sept. 10, Klinzing will bring that show to Centennial Auditorium.
Because he lives in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, he considers coming to Sterling almost like a hometown show. His last time here was in 2010.
“It’s an incredible lesson for me,” he said of the traveling he gets to do.
Whenever he visits a new town, a new city, a new place, he always makes sure to ask locals where they eat, and whether it’s a hole-in-the wall chicken place, or a family diner, he tries to go there. These visits, he said, often end in tours of the kitchen with the restaurant’s owner, and he brings those flavors he experiences back to his own kitchen.
Klinzing is also an accomplished performer, and until recently he was the lead singer in a suburbs-based band called Rage Against Age that performed covers of classic rock songs.
He incorporates his musical ability into his cooking shows, too, performing for attendees.
This year, he’s planning a Neil Diamond-themed show for the Sterling crowd and intends to close with a rendition of “Sweet Caroline.”
And then, of course, there’s the food. Klinzing has prepared a list of 10 different dishes to teach his students ranging from a German chocolate cake to spinach, herb and cheese stuffed chicken breasts to eggs Benedict.
To get tickets
Taste of Home culinary specialist Guy Klinzing is coming to Centennial Auditorium to share his home cooking tips and tricks while demonstrating step-by-step recipes for the season’s best dishes.
Attendees will see recipe demonstrations using ingredients easily found at the local grocery store and involving dishes submitted by home cooks from across the country. They also will get a gift bag that includes Taste of Home Cooking School magazine. The 68-page special issue includes recipes featured during the program, along with many more, as well as coupons from participating national food companies. There also will be door prizes.
Tickets are $10 at Sauk Valley Media, 3200 E. Lincolnway in Sterling, or at the Telegraph, 113 S. Peoria Ave. in Dixon. Go to TasteofHome.com/Cooking-Schools or call 815-625-3600, ext. 681, for more information.