Dinner Event: Mark Leslie and "Beyond the Pasta" Remixed
This book and author might look familiar to many of you, and for good reason. Mark Leslie of the Great River Shakespeare Festival was with us last September to promote his new cookbook/memoir. We held a 5 course meal, with recipes from the cookbook, and the evening was one of the most fun we have had. In fact, many of you tried to get seats to no avail. For that reason, and to accomodate the many GRSF company members who wanted to attend, we are doing it all again. This REMIXED edition will feature a brand new menu, so if you attended last year, you can guiltlessly do so again! Mark will share new stories from his book, and I am personally excited to invite him back again.The menu will be announced next week, but we have already reserved 10 of the available 30 seats. If you want to get your name down, CALL the store right away. 507-474-1880. I only check my email about once daily, and I would hate for you not to get in on account of my schedule.The price will be somewhere between $30 and $45 per seat (depending on the final menu), and now that The Blue Heron is offering wine, there will be a higher dinner price if you want wine with your meal. Larry will be featuring Italian wines to accompany the meal.Reserve your seats ASAP! Call 474-1880 for reservations.Monday, July 11th 6:30pm
About the Book
Several years ago, on a break between theatrical gigs in Alabama, Mark traveled to Italy and fell in love with the people, food, and culture. Armed with just enough courage, minimal Italian language skills, and a certain proficiency in the kitchen, he enrolled in a full-immersion cooking and language program. He would travel to Viterbo, Italy and live with an Italian family.
His teachers were beyond his wildest dreams-he learned to cook from the grandmother, or Nonna, of the family, who prepared every meal in a bustling, busy household, as women in her family have done for generations. Her daughter, Alessandra, taught him the language with patience and precision. Besides culinary secrets and prepositions, they opened their lives to him, and made him a real part of their extensive family.
Though the book contains authentic, delicious family recipes Nonna shared with Mark, Beyond the Pasta delves into food memoir subject matter not found in a typical cookbook. It was the day-to-day living, befuddled social interactions, laughing and shopping with Nonna, exploring the countryside and le gelaterie, where he truly developed his language skills, and a new, more joyful and uniquely Italian way of looking at the world. "Mark understands and so beautifully conveys the transcendent nature of true cooking, cooking that comes from the heart and feeds not just the body but the soul. There is something universal about this that goes beyond culture, age, race, and gender-real food, real cooking, real sharing is something sacred and often under appreciated. His writing is smart, sensitive and wittily observed. Beyond the Pasta exemplifies how the act of cooking is intrinsically an act of sharing and affirmation, and has the potential to be an open expression of the heart."-Scott Peacock, chef and co-author with Edna Lewis of "The Gift of Southern Cooking: Recipes and Revelations from Two Great American Cooks."
Mark, a self-proclaimed "foodie" who loves to cook for anyone with an appetite, works across the country in professional theatre as a stage manager (Mark has spent the last two summers here in Winona stage managing for the Great River Shakespeare Festival). Every year he vacations in Italy and lives to eat his way through every plate of pasta and cone of gelato placed before him. He shares those Italian experiences on his popular blog at www.mark-leslie.net. A Chicago-area native and "Yankee" by birth, Mark has lived in Alabama for over 23 years, and celebrates the fact that he started life eating farina, progressed to grits, and finally arrived at polenta. Buonissima!
Reserve your seat today, as this is sure to be another sell-out