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Culinary art of Smith featured in magazine

Friday, June 16, 2006

For a delicious slice of raspberry cream pie, visit Almost Home in Greencastle. For an interesting article on its owner, read the June issue of Indianapolis Woman magazine.

Local restaurant owner Gail Smith was featured in the Food section of Indianapolis Woman for her culinary excellence at Almost Home.

Almost Home, an upscale eatery located on Greencastle's courthouse square, draws many patrons year round. The restaurant is known for its homemade desserts, especially strawberry pizza. Smith's famous dessert earned People's Choice awards at the Taste of Indiana and was a finalist in the national desert contest sponsored by the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.

A chance meeting between Patti Denton, food editor for Indianapolis Woman, and Smith prompted the interview. Denton is an acquaintance of Smith's and asked to do a story on her.

"I have been on Patti's radio show at the University of Indianapolis 'Too Many Cooks' and she has done articles on me for the Indianapolis Star. It is nice to network with other food people in the area. It creates great opportunities for me," Smith said.

The magazine article focuses on Smith and her background in the culinary arts. Smith gained her knowledge from an internship through Women Chefs and Restaurateurs in Louisville, Ky., and from area resident Thursa Evans, a pastry expert and mentor to Smith at Almost Home. Smith stresses the importance of mentors in becoming a successful chef.

Though Smith is not a native of Putnam County, she has lived in the area for 30 years.

"I wanted to open a tea room and gift shop in the area," Smith said of her now booming business.

Smith's most memorable moment at Almost Home is when she celebrated her 15th anniversary with the restaurant. She hosted an open house for her friends in the community.

"Feeling the warmth from the community really encouraged me. It was amazing how many people brought cards and flowers. I have a lot of local support," the restauranteur remembered.

Though Smith is comfortable in her position as owner of Almost Home, she does not plan to open any more restaurants.

"This place is plenty," Smith said.

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