I have met and worked with many entertainers in my life. The idea of this book came to me one evening while visiting Cuba. I expand on this in the chapter 'Finding a seed inside Havana.' Also, the wonderful actress Doris Roberts came for dinner one evening and wrote a letter that stated, "An extraordinary cook who takes pleasure in inviting his friends to his home for an evening of great food, wine and interesting conversation. The table is so beautiful that you hate to sit down to mess it up. The food that he cooks takes time, thoughtfulness and knowledge and he spends hours preparing it. Did I mention the aroma that greets you when you walk into his house?"
Havana and Doris's thoughtful letter inspired me to take those generous comments to a new plateau. With all the celebrities that crossed my path through social means or at work, how would I embrace and seduce them with the cuisine I have discovered through a lifetime of preparation? Through my imagination and experiences I have put together recipes that would resonate with these wonderful talents.
With Jacqueline Kennedy with whom I had afternoon tea in my youth, I would have prepared as she was marrying Onassis, a Greek cuisine-Greek lemon soup, Moussaka and the celebratory cookies 'Kourambiedes.' George Clooney, for his love of Italy-Branzino fish. Barbara Streisand and Shirley Maclaine-Rack of Lamb, because they love the best in cuisine. Joan Rivers-Scallops and Vongole, (because it sounds delicate with a vengeance). Omar Sharif-'Lamb Shanks with Couscous' and Champagne with dessert because that's what he always shared when we worked together. For Elizabeth Taylor-Thai Snapper and a special dessert from my family's heritage, because she reigned supreme.
My endeavor is to continue this magnificent expression of life by giving back to those that made a difference.
Emmy nominated actor Thaao Penghlis was born and raised in Sydney, Australia to Greek-born parents. In 2015, Thaao was contracted to resume his most enduring character for NBC in Days of Our Lives, and then went on to star in the films Slow Dancing in the Big City, Altered States, The Mirror and The Bell Jar. Daytime audiences were first introduced to Penghlis in General Hospital. He also starred in the prime-time series revival of Mission Impossible, which went on to be one of the most successful film franchises in history, with Tom Cruise. He starred in the mini-series Sadat, with Omar Sharif in Memories of Midnight and starred in the critically acclaimed television film Under Siege with Hal Holbrook for NBC. When he is off the stage, he is an intrepid world traveler, a gifted chef and a master storyteller.
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