Event: Motherlodge presents Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant at The Rudyard Kipling, March 29-30

I enjoy my theater with a side of food. A live art exchange will provide that this weekend.

Motherlodge is an organization that creates spaces or “lodges” for artists to present their work and collaborate. Motherlodge has brought the theater group Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant to The Rudyard Kipling for performances of Irina’s Naming Day Party, a rework of Chekhov’s Three Sisters. 

Here’s where things get fun — the show includes dinner and cake.

The first night of the show was Thursday, but there are additional performances at 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 29, and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 30. Tickets are $25 (includes the dinner and cake), and you can buy them here. All shows take place at The Rudyard Kipling, 422 W. Oak Street.

Motherlodge will host a lot of other events around town this weekend, including a Jesus Christ Superstar singalong, NCAA men’s basketball watching parties and an ongoing fundraiser to help pay for medical expenses for The Rudyard Kipling’s “patriarch,” Ken Pyle. For more information, visit Motherlodge’s website.

Throwing an Academy Awards party? Here are some ideas for entertaining a crowd

Photo courtesy of Dave_B_ via Flickr.

The Academy Awards ceremony is my Super Bowl.

I wait all year to see overpaid celebrities in expensive clothes accept awards for movies I may or may not have seen. Why? Because it’s just so glamorous. And every once in awhile, you get a surprise (remember Oscar winners Three 6 Mafia?).

Such an extravagant event is worthy of some stellar eats.

Here’s a collection for the people who will throw Oscar viewing parties and need something to feed their guests Sunday night. But this list also works for the folks like me who will be under a Snuggie for four hours watching the awards.

  • AllRecipes never disappoints with its collections of food for various occasions, and the website has some great Oscar-night suggestions. I’d like the ham bone soup for Winter’s Bone and margaritas on the rocks for 127 Hours. (All Recipes)
  • If you’re keeping the festivities simple, here’s a guide to some of the best microwave popcorn brands on the market … (Epicurious)
  • … And here are some labels to make your popcorn a little fancy. (The Kitchn)
  • Need a laugh? The snarky website Gawker has compiled a list of tongue-in-cheek dishes to serve during the awards, including Black Forest Swan Cake (“Garnish with coconut shaving ‘cuticles.'”), Helena Bonham Tartar Sauce and Annette Beignets. (Gawker)

“The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” author to speak in Louisville today

I’m still on my kick of reading books in which food plays a main character, so I’m psyched that the author of a book I’ve mentioned on the blog will visit Louisville tonight.

Aimee Bender, the author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, will read passages from her novel at 7 p.m. today at Carmichael’s Bookstore at 2720 Frankfort Avenue, according to the Courier-Journal.

This novel isn’t just about food. Rather, it’s the story of a girl who can taste what people were feeling when they cooked the food she eats. As weird as it sounds, the novel works because of Bender’s great writing.

4 reasons why Roger Ebert rocks my glasses off

 

Roger Ebert. Courtesy of hawk2009 via Flickr.

 

As I kid, I knew Roger Ebert as the chubby guy who was famous for something to do with his thumbs.

Now I admire him as a critic, cancer survivor and foodie.

Ebert, known as half of the Siskel-Ebert (then Ebert-Roeper) movie critic duo that hosted At the Movies, has inspired me to be a better writer, a better critic and a better person. Here’s why:

  1. He can’t eat, but he just wrote a cookbook. Cancer in his thyroid and jaw and the subsequent surgeries to remove the diseases tissue has ridden Ebert of the ability to speak or eat (in case you missed it, here is a wonderful profile about Ebert’s life after cancer). That didn’t stop him from writing The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker. According to an article in the New York Times about Ebert and his book, “Most of the recipes came from Mr. Ebert’s head, from friends and from a dedicated group of blog readers who started a sub-cult built around him and rice cookers. They form just one of many tribes who have recently discovered him as a prolific, post-cancer online personality.” Consider me a part of one of those tribes.
  2. He’s not bitter about his restrictions. In response to his inability to eat food, a reader wrote to Ebert, “That sounds so sad. Do you miss it?” His response was one of the best essays I’ve ever read about food, the power it has to bring people together and the memories it creates. Ebert taught me that life happens, and sometimes it really sucks, but the only thing you can do is move forward.
  3. He’s more honest than ever. I use Ebert’s movie reviews as a litmus test when I head out to the theater. My opinions usually dovetail with his. I’ve found that he has become more sincere about his movie reviews in wake of his cancer. Ebert knows when a movie is meant to entertain instead of enlighten, and he’s OK with that (see review for Iron Man II). But he’ll also trash a movie that deserves it (see recent reviews for I Spit on Your Grave and Life as We Know It). I try to be as earnest as Ebert in $10 Challenges, even if the food is bad and I might hurt feelings.
  4. He embraces new media. Ebert’s blog is a hit, and it even earned him the Webby Person of the Year award. Ebert also uses Twitter and has more than 260,00 followers who read his musing on politics, movies and life. If a nearly 70-year-old man can embrace new media, everyone can – and should.