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Cook on Camera

Food and cooking get the star treatment in every edition of A la Carte.

After 20 years, the Mail Tribune's weekly food section is inviting local cooks to take the spotlight.

Videos are the main ingredient in Cooking on Camera, a new interactive feature of the newspaper's website, launched in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of A la Carte. Whether they have decades of experience at the stove or just learned to dice an onion, Rogue Valley cooks can show off their culinary skills for the camera — and the community — by contributing to this project.

The first clips, starring some local experts, depict techniques from rolling sushi to rolling out pie crust, from whole-grain baking to whole-hog butchering. Newspaper staff periodically will post their own videos of special food events to www.mailtribune.com/cooking.

"If you want to make an effective cooking video, get up close," says Mail Tribune videographer and reporter Ryan Pfeil. "Close-ups better illustrate technique and make for more fun viewing."

Before the cameras roll, budding food-television personalities should consider prepping their ingredients and putting equipment close at hand. If the dish isn't a quick fix, editing can capture the highlights.

Cooking on Camera is intended to visually guide readers through recipes printed in A la Carte, as well as monthly Joy, HomeLife and Oregon Healthy Living magazines, says Web Editor Anita Burke. The multimedia resource — an online cooking school of sorts — is one of many newspaper efforts to broaden coverage beyond traditional print, she says.

The newspaper moved its recipes to a searchable online database more than four years ago. Last year's upgrade makes the Recipe Box more user-friendly and provides the scripts for Cooking on Camera.

Cooks can choose among 3,000-plus entries in the Recipe Box, organized by 80 categories from appetizers to desserts, canning to campfire cookery, vegetarian fare to holiday favorites and everything in between. Follow along with our experts' video demonstrations of the accompanying recipes. Plain Crepes, Lamb Meatballs, Tzatziki and Basic Vegetarian Maki Sushi also can be found in the Recipe Box at www.mailtribune.com/recipes.

Videotape your demonstration of a recipe — or submit your own to the Recipe Box — and upload the video to YouTube. Then fill out our online form and attach the video link to grab your moment in the spotlight.

Reach Food Editor Sarah Lemon at 541-776-4487 or email slemon@mailtribune.com.

Cook on Camera