Food Author Cathy Thomas Reveals Culinary Tips and Tricks

Cathy Thomas
Cathy Thomas

Learn to create delicious dishes with Cathy Thomas, award-winning columnist, author and on-air host at the Festival of Arts Sunday, August 18 from 1 – 2pm. As part of the 2013 Art of Cooking series, she will demonstrate step-by-step some of her favorite recipes including kale salad with dates, marcona almonds, nectarine salsa, and green bean and tomato salad atop watercress and toasted farro. She will share samples of her finished creations with the audience.

According to Cathy Thomas, part of the fun of cooking and entertaining is creating delectable dishes without spending hours in the kitchen. That’s been the focal point of her cooking classes and award-winning newspaper features for over two decades. Her quick-to-prepare recipes showcase flavorful ingredients, relying on fresh fruits and vegetables to make each dish colorful and delicious.

As the longtime food columnist at the Orange County Register newspaper, Cathy won the first place award as the best food columnist in the nation from the Association of Food Journalists (in the large newspaper division). She pioneered the use of culinary-based videos on the Web, taping in her home kitchen with legendary chefs such as Thomas Keller, Stephen Raichlen and Marcus Samuelsson. To make cooking more pleasurable for her readers, Cathy filmed hundreds of cooking “how-to’s” and celebrity interviews for the newspaper’s website.

Her first book, “Melissa’s Great Book of Produce” demystifies the glorious array of fruits and vegetables that are available in the marketplace. Her second book, “Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce” was released in spring of 2010. Her third book, “50 Best Plants on the Planet” launched nationwide in April 2013.

Cathy has conducted international and domestic culinary tours on a regular basis, seeking new ingredients, techniques and ideas as she explores world cuisine. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern California and has studied at cooking schools around the world.

Susan Davis, Director of Special Events notes, “We’re very excited for Cathy to share her expertise and passion for food at the Festival of Arts on Sunday.”

Foodies rejoice every Sunday from 1 – 2pm at the Festival of Arts “Art of Cooking” series. Every Sunday between July 7 and August 25, this special event series takes place in the Festival’s Art Center and is free with Festival admission.

The Festival of Arts is open daily from June 30 – August 31, 2013, from 10am to 11:30pm (Early closing at 3:30pm on August 24). General Admission: Weekdays $7, Weekends $10; Students & Seniors: Weekdays $4, Weekends $6; Free Admission for Children 12 and under, Military, and Laguna Beach Residents.

A special promotion (funded in part by Bank of America) offers patrons the opportunity to purchase a Passport to the Arts for only $21.50. Receive unlimited admission all summer long to The Festival of Arts, the Sawdust Art Festival and Art-A-Fair. Go online for more information and details at or call (949) 497-0521. Each passport includes one-time free parking in the ACT V parking lot on Laguna Canyon Road and FREE shuttle service. Offer excludes Pageant of the Masters.

The Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters are sponsored in part by Acura, Fidelity Investments, KOST Radio 103.5, the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, and The Orange County Register. The Festival of Arts is a non-profit organization that produces The Festival of Arts – California’s Premier Fine Art Show and the Pageant of the Masters. For general information, call (949) 494-1145 or visit the website at The event is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, California. Proceeds support the arts and art education in and about Laguna Beach.