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I’ve been continuing my live theatre run, and went with my daughter last weekend to see the musical “Waitress,” based on the movie of the same name. And we found it to be utterly delightful. The good news is that “Waitress” currently has a national tour, so it may be coming to you.

“Waitress” is the story of Jenna, a young woman living in the southern US, struggling to make ends meet as a - yup - waitress, and enduring an abusive relationship with her husband, Earl. One of her few pleasures is baking pies - and it happens to be something at which she is extraordinarily proficient and innovative.

Life gets even more complicated when she ends up pregnant … and then engages in an affair with her obstetrician. As unlikely as this may seem, the play - as did the movie - turns it into something lovely and charming …. the music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles manage to capture Jenna’s desperation and yearning.

It is instructive to note that “Waitress” had four women were at the helm in leading creative roles - reportedly the first time this had happened. It also is worth pointing out that “Waitress” has all the instincts of a really good retailer - when you enter the theatre, you can smell pies baking, and it is entirely immersive. And, they have waitresses wandering the aisles before the show and during intermission, selling slices of pie.

“Waitress” is terrific - frothy and fun and yet offering some positive lessons about both life and business. If it comes to a city near you, make the effort.



One of my favorite movies of the past few years is Chef, which was written and directed by Jon Favreau, who also starred as a high profile Los Angeles chef, Carl Casper, who finds himself the unexpected subject of critical ridicule on a foodie website; he ends up redeeming his career and personal life via a food truck in which he recaptures his passion for cooking.

Favreau apparently hasn’t lost his enthusiasm for the subject, because he now has produced a new eight-part series for Netflix, “The Chef Show,” which is sort of a cooking show/travelogue/talk show that, in the end, celebrates all sorts of cuisines. From barbecue in Austin, Texas, to the small yet innovative restaurants that were the beat of now-deceased Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold, “The Chef Show” will make you hungry and anxious to hit the road and sample many of the dishes featured on the series.

Trust me on this - “The Chef Show” is so good that you can almost smell the food through the screen. And it benefits enormously from the presence of Roy Choi, a Korean-American chef who has been enormously influential in the nation’s food truck movement; Choi was a consultant on the movie Chef, and his unfussy enthusiasms and considerable expertise bolster Favreau’s approach in the series.

The bonus - in the first episode, they teach us how to make the Cuban sandwich and the grilled cheese sandwich that were the soul of the movie. (And make sure you pay attention to the beignet sequence … which is the moment you always wanted to see on a cooking show.

Great stuff.



As the days get hotter, it is great to find a wine cold and crisp and refreshing. And so, I submit for your consideration the 2015 Château de Lardiley Sauvignon, which is a Bordeaux Blanc from France. It has a slight citrusy thing going for it, and is absolutely delicious.
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