Meet Cathy Thomas

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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 three decades.

For more than 25 years, Cathy was the food columnist at the Orange County Register newspaper. She 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, Jacques Pepin and Marcus Samuelsson.

Now, as an online columnist for Orange Coast magazine, Cathy films videos with Orange County best chefs, capturing the preparation of their luscious dishes for online viewing. Each video is accompanied by a profile of the chef, as well as a recipe (www.orangecoast.com).

Her first book, “Melissa’s Great Book of Produce” (Wiley, $29.95) demystifies the glorious array of fruits and vegetables that are available in the marketplace. Her second book, “Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce” explores cooking with fresh organic fruits and vegetables. Her newest book, “50 Best Plants on the Planet,” delves into the most nutrient-dense produce that grows on earth.

She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern California and has studied with chefs and at cooking schools around the world. She lives in Huntington Beach with her husband Phil McCullough; together they share four grown children, eight grandchildren and a Cairn terrier named Katie.