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to judge Herald recipe contest

By Jennifer Hall
Herald Staff Writer

After treating thousands of patients, Dr. Patrick Clune has given up his Hermitage practice and now wants to treat thousands of palates.

The 60-year-old Hermitage man retired and opened Gourmet Foods by Patrick. While he originally started the store in Volant, he has moved it, along with ``the world's largest selection of hot sauces,'' to Hermitage.

``You're your own boss,'' he said. ``You may work twice as many hours but you enjoy it and the people. This is the culmination of my dreams.'' .

Dr. Patrick Clune, owner of Gormet Foods by Patrick, Hermitage, shows off one of the many fancier food items in his store. Clune, a self-taught gormet cook, is one of the judges in this year's contest (Jean Angelo/Herald)

And when it comes to ``What's Cooking in Your World?'' Clune says anything goes. He's one of three judges in The Herald's annual recipe contest.

``I'm completely open-minded,'' he said. ``I'm not looking for anything in particular _ just good food that is palatable and pleasing to the eye.''

Clune is ``thrilled'' about judging the contest, especially because his interest is self-taught.

``I think people will be more apt to submit recipes because I'm not officially trained and I'm just looking for good food,'' he said. ``I do enjoy modification, though. Don't be afraid to deviate from the recipe.''

Clune took note of every gift he received over the years, from an old-fashioned popcorn popper to the various sauces and dressings, including Carolina Swamp Stuff.

With those notes and a few phone calls he has stocked his store with a wide variety of gourmet and specialty foods.

``Everybody is always saying they want something different.

``Every gourmet cook has to have a glass rolling pin,'' he said, showing off his collection _ filled with vinegar and raspberries. ``If you use all of the vinegar then you refill it with white vinegar and it rejuvenates.''

With every sale, Clune provides advice about the things that he sells in his store. He gives tips and pointers about cooking his uniquely flavored pasta and using olive oil and cheese.

``In the medical business, there are standards that you have to follow when treating people,'' Clune said. ``In this business, it's whatever you do that's different that makes it `wow.' It allows you to be different.''

Clune's motto is: if ``the store's open, Patrick's here.'' He does get help running the show from his grandson, Matthew Clune, and his sister, Marge Pilipovich.

``I've planned for the store for years and years,'' he said. ``It took a long time to develop it and now it's going so far.''

``I have a lot of neat things for Christmas and thank-yous,'' he said.

And in January, Clune will begin holding ``A Taste of Gourmet'' evenings that will feature samples of ``the finest gourmet foods.''

``The evenings will allow people to taste what they can do with some of the things I offer. My job is to educate.''

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Updated Sept. 25, 1996
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