It’s been 25 years since Andy “The Singing Chef” LoRusso — a onetime R&B singer who moved to Santa Barbara in 1977 — first published Sing & Cook Italian, thereby launching a full-fledged career as a chef/performer who’s since sang and sizzled at food events around the world. This edition dusts off and updates some of those original recipes — such as Nonna Grace’s Sicilian Ricotta Cheesecake, which was from his mother’s side of the family — and adds many new dishes, such as Italian Pepper and Egg Sandwiches, from his father’s side, who was raised in New Jersey by parents originally from Potenza.
“I wanted to celebrate him being home, cooking for the family as a veteran of the service when my mother went to work,” said LoRusso. He also includes recipes that he’s gleaned from working with chefs around the world, including Prairie Oysters from the Calgary Stampede, Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy from the Isle of Wight, and Menemen from Istanbul. Throughout the book, LoRusso entertains with stories from his life, suggests songs to sing while preparing certain dishes, and provides links to his songs online. “It’s a really interesting phenomenon,” admitted LoRusso of the success of his combined art forms.
Andy LoRusso will sign copies of his book, share recipes, and sing on Saturday, October 28, 3-5 p.m, at Tecolote Book Shop (1470 E. Valley Rd., Montecito). Call (805) 969-4977.