"Dinner theater'' has a new twist. Once just drama and dining, today's version is as likely to include front-row seats at a television cooking show, or cookin' up the blues in a supper club.
Upcoming events promise to give Toledoans a taste each.
Bill Wharton, a.k.a. the Sauce Boss, will be stirring a pot of gumbo while singing the blues and playing his slide guitar at Yikes! Smooth Jazz and Supper Club downtown.
The Florida blues man, who makes his own hot sauce and feeds his audiences gumbo, is described as a "git-down, soul-shouting picnic of rock-n-roll brotherhood." Wharton and his band, appropriately named The Ingredients, will serve up the tasty blues at 9 and 11 p.m. tomorrow at Yikes! on the 19th floor of the Hawthorn Hotel and Suites at 141 North Summit St.
Between making the roux and stirring the kettle, he manages to serve gumbo to the audience (Yes, he bottles and sells his own hot sauce.). His recordings include a cookbook/blues album/culinary travelogue, CD, "Recipes,'' on Burning Disk Records. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
Armed with a traditional cookbook (not CD-ROM style) and gourmet food presentations, French master chef Jaques Prudhomme throws out convention with the title of his cookbook, Love Bites (Temple, $12.50). The book includes recipes for Oysters Valentino, Shrimp Dijon, and Avocado with Caviar.
On Saturday, Mr. Prudhomme (no relation to Paul Prudhomme of New Orleans fame) will unveil his book on hors d'oeuvres and finger foods in four events throughout Toledo.
The master chef for baseball hall-of-famer Ted Williams at his estate in Florida, he will start his day in Toledo preparing Chicken Afrique at an appearance on Channel 11 at 9:30 a.m. with Inverness Club executive chef LaBaron Christian. This will be followed by mini food demonstrations at the Libbey Glass Outlet adjacent to the Erie Street Market in the Warehouse District from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. He will sign copies of his book at a "Meet the Author" session from 2 to 4 p.m. at Thackeray's Book Store in the Westgate Village Shopping Center. There will be a private reception for members of the Inverness Club from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The chef will team up again with the Inverness chef, along with Woodbury Vineyards CEO Joe Carney and winemaster Gary Woodbury. Chef Prudhomme is the culinary spokesman for Woodbury Vineyards, whose main winery is in the Chautauqua region of New York.
Preparations for the Maumee Valley Chefs Association Scholarship Dinner, scheduled for 4:30 p.m. April 9 at th eZenobia Shrine, have been going at warp speed. The bill of fare, which features grazing stations, includes Mediterranean, seafood, Caribbean, and European dishes. An array of cheeses will make the hors d'oeuvres table the talk of the cocktail hour. For a decadent and delicious finale, desserts will be custards, flaming dishes such as Cherries Jubilee and Bananas Foster, ice cream desserts, and pastries.
Dr. Noel Cullen, president of the American Culinary Federation from Boston, will be the speaker, according to chapter president and Highland Meadows executive chef Ed Gozdowski.
Proceeds benefit scholarships for culinary students. Tickets are $40 per person. Call Chef Alfred Friedman at 729-0750 or Chef Gozdowski at Highland Meadows Golf Club at 885-2159 by April 2.
For culinary entertainment at home, upcoming cooking specials on WGTE, TV 30 include:
Celebrate the Italian Kitchen: From Zuppa to Dolce at 1 p.m. March 4 with chefs Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray;
Fannie Farmer's 20th Century Kitchen with Amy Coleman at 3:30 p.m. March 4 and 2 p.m. March 5. Ms. Coleman is joined by cookbook author Marion Cunningham as they prepare a typical meal from the first cookbook published in 1896.
Kathie Smith is The Blade's food editor.