Telluride's Opera House Welcomes Singing Chef LoRusso

[click “Play” for Susan’s conversation with the Singing Chef]

Andy-isle-wight What do you get when you cross Mario Batali with Mario Lanza? Dinner theater in Telluride featuring The Singing Chef, Andy LoRusso. In the high stakes super star chefs sweepstakes, LoRusso is sure to bag the talent segment.

Telluride’s historic Sheridan Opera House is throwing a party for itself on Friday, March 19. The fun-raiser starts at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails. A cooking show and four-course Italian dinner follows, orchestrated by the guest of honor and prepared by Telluride’s The Butcher and The Baker. The evening ends with a live auction and dancing to burn some of the calories – and a hole in your wallet for a popular cause.

Gypsy Rose Lee said it first: “You gotta have a gimmick.” The inspiration for LoRusso’s unique hook –  simultaneously teaching cooking and singing – was his “Nonna,” his Sicilian grandmother Grace, who listened to music when she prepared family meals.

LoRusso starting cooking at a tender age, as soon as he was tall enough to reach a table. At 22, he signed with Epic Records to record jazz standards. Later, the enterprising young man studied with world-renowned vocal coach Giovanna d’Onofrio, who taught him to sing the great Italian arias and love songs. In 1991, LoRusso had his light-bulb moment: he would combine the twin passions, music and cooking his family’s best recipes, the ones he inherited from his “Nonna.” The Singing Chef became his handle and stock in trade.

LoRusso spends more time on the road than at home these days as a sought-after featured performer at state and county fairs, Italian festivals, home and garden shows, trade shows, casinos and resorts around the world, and on TV. He is also a best-selling author.

Read on for one of the featured recipes at the Opera House extravaganza.

RICOTTA CHEESE CAKE
(Serves 8 to 10):

Ingredients:
6 eggs
1 cup sugar
1tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
3 lb. fresh ricotta
1/2 cup of bitter sweet chocolate chips
Juice of 1 orange (optional)
Zest of one orange (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a bowl, mix egg, sugar, flour till blended. Add vanilla, orange juice, zest and chocolate chips, mix well. Fold in the ricotta cheese. Prepare a 9 or 10 inch spring form pan. Spray with nonstick spray. Pour in the batter. Preheat oven to 375. Bake the cake for 60 minutes and let cool on the rack for about 40 minutes. Put into the refrigerator, or serve right away. Garnish with fresh strawberries and powdered sugar.

To learn more about Lo Russo, click the “play” button and listen to his podcast.
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