sipbestIt was a very different sort of evening in my kitchen last Monday, when blogger, photographer, and chef Greg Henry from Los Angeles and sous chef, Liz Lees from San Diego were ready to present a special cooking class about how movie stars dined during the “Golden Age” of Hollywood. It was an age when “being seen” was EVERYTHING!

sip3That afternoon, Greg and Liz measured ingredients for the famous “Signature Cocktail” from the glamorous Cocoanut Grove Restaurant in the center of Hollywood and they carefully scooped black and red caviar into old-fashioned champagne glasses for Trump’s “Plantains with Black Bean Sauce”.

They cleaned, sauced and sauteed chicken livers for Don the Beachcomber’s “Rumaki” and peeled, deveined and skewered shrimp for “BBQ Shrimp with Ginger and Lime” from the old Spago Restaurant, which overlooked Sunset Blvd.

They poached chicken breasts and saved the broth for me, boiled eggs, and chopped various lettuces and cheeses for the Brown Derby’s “Original Cobb Salad’.sipliz

The final dish was the “Romanoff’s Chocolate Souffle”, the perfect ending to this sumptuous meal. Liz had pre-measured the ingredients of this very glamorous finale into a beautiful “mis en place” arrangement, including 12 carefully separated eggs, milk, sugar, flour, vanilla extract, salt and powdered sugar. sip4

As students arrived, they were greeted with stories about how Hollywood restaurateurs developed their menus, prepared their dishes and built their reputations. They learned how movie stars became the center of attention, while being surrounded by some of the most elegant cuisine the world has ever know.

As the evening progressed, everyone mingled like movie stars with flashbulbs popping, and they dined on great recipes prepared with flair by Hollywood photographer and chef, Greg Henry. Each famous, delicious and historic dish was fit for such super-stars as Dorothy Lamour, James Cagny, Judy Garland, Groucho Marx and Bing Crosby.

And just think, this all took place in my lovely kitchen high up on the side of a volcano overlooking Boquete, Panama.
Lucky me,