Opera à la carte | Arts and entertainment

Opera à la carte |  Arts and entertainment

The opera is a feast for the senses. Many operas are about actual festivals. Say what you want to say about their morals, Falstaff and Don Giovanni knew how to eat well. The same applies to the multi-talented singers of the Sarasota Opera. They fill their free time with a long list of creative activities – and culinary art is at the top.

So what’s cooking? To find out, let’s explore the moving celebrations of mezzo-soprano Lisa Chavez, baritone Marco Nistico and mezzo-soprano Laurel Semerdjian. We will see some of the delicious meals they have created and how their kitchen magic reflects their family backgrounds and life philosophies.

When did your love of cooking begin?

Marco is The fascination of gourmets began when he was a student in Paris. He lived alone for the first time. He couldn’t afford to eat out. Like it or not, Marco had to cook for himself for the first time. “I was forced to prepare my own meals – and I had no idea. I thought of my childhood memories of my mother and grandmother cooking in Naples. So I called her and asked, “How did you do that? What were the ingredients? How hot did you cook it How long?’ I made all of these notes and then tried to repeat what they’d done in my tiny Parisian kitchen. I wasn’t that good – not even around. But all of my French friends loved my pizza and pasta; I think because it was so different. They said: “Marco, your kitchen is the best in the world!” I knew better, but I didn’t let them finish.

Lisa got in touch with her inner cook in her childhood. Her parents encouraged Lisa to cook – and learn. “My aunt always said, ‘If someone in the family is cooking a meal that you love, don’t just eat it! Ask them how they did it and write it down. You can get the prescription now. The day can come when you can’t. ‘“Lisa followed her aunt’s advice. But most of what she learned was practical. “I would always help my grandma make tortillas or whatever she was cooking. Dad let me help with breakfast on weekends too, usually pancakes. I really enjoyed it. And I think it’s stuck with me. “

laurelThe Epicurean revelation is similar to that of Lisa. “My love affair with food definitely started when I was young. My mother always encouraged me to cook with her – and so did my grandmother. Whatever they cook it is always amazing whether it is Armenian food or a new invention. After moving away, I did exactly what Marco did. I would pick up the phone. ‘Hello mother! I really like this recipe you made. How did you do it Tell me the secret! ‘And just like Lisa, I would write it down and try to repeat the magic. After that, I just kept walking. I’ve explored so many flavors, cultures, and cuisines over the years. But my mother and grandmother made me do it. “

The most popular meals to eat and prepare?

LisaThe culinary choices change with the seasons. “My favorite in winter is sage pork braised with apple cider. I’ll stew it for hours and serve it with fresh spaetzle. In spring I celebrate the end of the winter fun with crispy things like fresh salad. In summer everything revolves around barbecuing. I like some tacos you know Bread is my favorite thing that I’m making right now. I love to bake different types of bread. The possibilities are endless. “

laurel: “My favorite food is my mother’s Armenian rice pilaf. Browning the vermicelli in butter gives it that rich nutty flavor. It’s the first solid meal of every Armenian child. It’s so simple and so very good. I haven’t really tried it I’m constantly creating new recipes and experimenting with different flavors, proteins, and food combinations. The results are sometimes terrible, sometimes great. You don’t know until you try, and that’s half the fun. “

Marco Nistico’s interest in food began as a student in Paris.

Marco: “My mother’s Italian meatballs – they are my absolute favorite. And they are not spicy! People have this stereotype in their heads: ‘Italian – a spicy meatball. So people think Italian meatballs are always spicy. No, they aren’t. You can cook them in sauce. My mom will fry them. There are thousands of ways to cook them. Unless you throw a lot of seasoning in them, Italian Meatballs aren’t spicy. The food I like to make is a very simple chicken breast recipe. I got it from another singer here – Stefano de Peppo. And he doesn’t even remember the recipe. He forgot to write it down . I didn’t have to. It’s all in my head. “

What is your highest culinary guilt?

Lisa: “The chocolate-covered almonds from Trader Joe’s. They are my ultimate temptation, but I approach them with self-discipline. I buy a whole box. Then I eat maybe two a day and keep them going for weeks.”

laurel: “My current guilty treat is Nilla Wafer Banana Cake. It looks like a Mediterranean cake. It has sweetened condensed milk and everything bad for you, and that’s why it’s so good. I just baked one recently, and it was just so decadent. perfect and tasty. “

Marco: “Mine is Ben & Jerry’s half-baked ice cream. It’s those textured, chewy chunks of chocolate, vanilla, chocolate chips, cookie dumplings and brownie pieces. I love the taste, but I can’t really describe it. It’s kind of a taste like everything . “

You are stranded on a desert island with running water, a stove, and a refrigerator. (To be generous, there is also an endless supply of wine and coffee.) But you are only allowed three items of food. What would they be?

Marco: “Fresh mozzarella from Naples – I miss that terribly every day. And, of course, excellent pizza – and hopefully the ingredients for me to make. Some very good Vietnamese photos are my third choice. It makes me happy every time. “

Lisa Chavez loves to cook dishes like fried green tomatoes … just don’t serve her peppers.

Lisa: “Shrimps, avocados and bread are my three wishes. They are all delicious and all go very well together. “

laurel: “Avocados, eggs and bread, of course. I love bread. In any form whatsoever. “

Name one food you would not touch with a 10 foot bar.

Marco: “I can’t eat Indian food. The spices in it make me sick. It’s not the fault of the food. Blame me My body just can’t handle it. “

laurel: “For me it’s jelly. The texture, the taste, the way it wobbles … Bleaggh. I can’t eat jelly without gagging. “

Lisa: “Paprika is my food enemy. I do not know why. I cook with Thai chillies and jalapenos. I can eat spicy peppers in abundance. Paprika? No. (My reaction is not very pleasant.) You smell so good … but no. I am sure i would like them. But for some strange reason they don’t like me. “

Joseph Hubbard

Joseph Hubbard is a seasoned journalist passionate about uncovering stories and reporting on events that shape our world. With a strong background in journalism, he has dedicated his career to providing accurate, unbiased, and insightful news coverage to the public.

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