October 26, 2005 | By: Aimee Nielson

Tailgating season might be winding down, but a recent cooking school in Madison County showed participants that some tailgating food has potential for other gatherings as well.

Madison County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences Gina Noe invited Chef David James of the E.W. James & Sons Supermarket chain to teach Extension Homemakers and others some nontraditional tailgating recipes.

“A lot of the recipes he did tonight are not the recipes people think of as typical tailgating recipes,” she said. “He didn’t do hamburgers or chili or things like that. He did a lot of things you can do at home, for picnics or for any type of gathering. It was a really good selection of things we might not be used to doing on a regular basis.”

Starting with crab dip and moving on to grilled skirt steak and pork chops, James’ menu was far from typical. He said he loves to do cooking schools and meet people in the local community.

“It’s exciting, I’m happy to be here and try to share a little bit of my knowledge and to meet people in the community,” he said. “We’ve been here about nine months to a year. It’s good to get out and see what people need in the grocery store. Every time I go out, I learn something, and that’s a fun aspect of it as well.”

James’ sister Lee Ann James also helped out at the cooking school. She sees it as a way to give back to the communities they serve.

“One thing that is very important to us as a company is that we want to be involved in the community and give back to the communities that are so good to us,” she said. “Doing something like this is perfect.”

Noe used the event as a recruiting tool to draw new members into Extension Homemakers. She said it’s a good way to introduce the new business to the community and let people know more about what Extension does in the area.

“We thought it was a great opportunity with E.W. James being rather new to our county,” she said. “We thought it would be a great opportunity to bring them in and introduce them to our clientele. Our Extension Homemakers were very excited about this event. There are a lot of homemakers here, but they were invited to bring friends and new folks and introduce people to Extension.”

Proceeds from the event went to the Katrina Relief Fund.

For those interested in cooking like James, visit theE.W. James & Sons Web site at for recipes and store information. He also cooks some of these treats daily for patrons of Generations restaurant at the grocery chain’s home store in Union City, Tenn.


Writer: Aimee Nielson 859-257-4736, ext. 267

Contact: Gina Noe 859-623-4072