MINNEAPOLIS - Before Julia Child, Emeril and the Food Network, there was television's first chef, James Beard, who brought fine cooking to the small screen in 1946.
Ivey Award-winning Garry Geiken evokes the "face and belly of American gastronomy" in Illusion Theater's regional premiere of "I Love to Eat: A Love Story With Food."
Writer James Still takes us back to 1984, where we spend a delightful evening with James Beard. Throughout the 90 minutes, Beard reminisces about his glory years through gossipy phone calls, inventive cooking and wistful longing for a grand love story to call his own.
JAMES BEARD'S ONION SANDWICHES
Makes 4 servings
8 thin slices firm white bread
6 tablespoons mayonnaise, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 1/8-inch thick slices mild onion (Vidalia or Wall Walla), about 3-1/2 inches in diameter
1/4 cup minced fresh chives or parsley
Arrange the bread slices next to one another on a work surface. Using a glass or a round cutter, cut circles as large as possible out of the slices.
Mix the mayonnaise and mustard together. Spread each bread circle with 2 teaspoons of the mixture. Place an onion slice on 4 of the bread rounds (it should cover them to the edges). Top with the remaining bread circles. Press slightly to make them adhere.
Holding each sandwich in your hand, spread some of the remaining mayonnaise mixture on the outside edges, then roll the edges in the chives/parsley until coated. Press lightly to make the chives stick.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a couple hours. Uncover and serve.
Directed by Michael Robins
Starring Garry Geiken as James Beard
On stage through May 18
Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, 8th Floor
528 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Box office: 612-339-4944 or illusiontheater.org
(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)