Friends get a Taste of Italy at Riverside Theatre

VERO BEACH — The Riverside Theatre Friends Luncheon broke with tradition this year to give guests A Taste of Italy with The Singing Chef, Andy LoRusso.  This is the first time in its history that the annual event has not featured a fashion show.  According to Anna Bain Slater who co-chaired the event with Mary Ellen Brophy, they wanted to offer something completely different; and they did!  Grand sponsors for the event were the Lillian and Richard Becker Foundation, courtesy of Barbara Hurley, and California Closets.

Guests at the sold-out event were handed sumptuous Bellinis to sip on as they entered the Theatre, and had an opportunity to purchase raffle tickets in hopes of winning an Italian fantasy vacation, donated by Destinations Travel, a gorgeous 18 carat gold and diamond bracelet, donated by Le Classique Jewelers and a gift basket with $750 gift certificate donated by California Closets.

The Theatre lobby and Waxlax Stage area were colorfully decorated in traditional Italian red, green and white tablecloths with a stage area set up between the two for the cooking demonstration.  Chef LoRusso was assisted by Chef Scott Varricchio, whose new Vero restaurant; Citrus Grillhouse is expected to open in January.

As Chef LoRusso engaged the crowd, serenading them with songs and demonstrating with theatrical culinary skills, guests were served the same Italian dishes, prepared by Elizabeth Kennedy Catering.  And, so that they could recreate the experience at home, the luncheon program included recipe cards for each of the delectable dishes.  The feast consisted of Bruschetta with Gorgonzola, Red Roasted Peppers & Kalamata Olives; Sweet Fennel and Orange Salad with Toasted Walnuts in Honey Sherry Vinegar Dressing; Chicken Scaloppini with Lemon and Capers; Mascarpone Cheese Polenta; Ricotta Cheese Cake.

A first-time Vero visitor ,LoRusso said he was having a wonderful time, visiting with friends he hadn’t seen in years, going to Cravings and meeting Chef David Rodriguez at Costa d’Este where he was staying.  “It reminds me of Santa Barbara where I live.  It’s the same type of close-knit community with friendly people.”  {igallery 88}


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