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Lerma to be among cooking school exhibitors Saturday

Tart chef extraordinaire John Michael Lerma will be among those exhibiting their wares and talents at the Taste of Home Cooking School Saturday in Park Rapids.

The 4th of July pie contest host will be sharing a booth with Beagle Books.

Lerma will be offering demonstrations every half hour on how to decorate the tops of pies.

He will also be pre-selling his forthcoming cookbook, "Garden County Pie - Sweet and Savory Delights from the Table of John Michael Lerma."

The 100-recipe cookbook features fruit and berry pies, cream and custard pies, citrus and "savory" pies. His unique recipes call for everything from Vidalia onions to avocados to cherries.

The cookbook is suitable for the novice to expert. A chapter highlights pie contests, with the Park Rapids' event included.

Lerma is the winner of numerous competitions and blue ribbons at the National Pie Championship, Food Network Pie Challenge and Minnesota State Fair.

His fourth Food Network American Pie Festival Challenge will be aired at 7 p.m. and 2 a.m. Sept. 21, at 6 p.m. Sept. 24, at 1 p.m. Sept. 27 and 6 p.m. Sept. 28. Some of the greatest amateur bakers will be competing.

The author's Web site is www.gar