It was the highlight of our last trip abroad to visit Gale Cellucci, Theater Producer for the Theatre Guild Ancon in Panama City, artist, fine art collector and gourmet cook.

I first met Gale when David and I went to Panama City to see a play at the Ancon Playhouse several years ago, directed by our good friend Carlos Williams.

Gale has lived in Panama City for over 35 years and she has kept in touch with our fledgling theater group in Boquete over the past few years.

When she learned that David and I were returning to Panama on a late flight and planned to immediately connect to an overnight bus to Boquete, Gale offered us the opportunity to stay overnight and to continue on to Boquete another day. The decision was easy to make.

Before long, we were enjoying a welcome drink and hors d’oeuvres on Gale’s spectacular balcony overlooking the waterfront in sparkling downtown Panama City. Gale served a tasty Roasted Pepper, Anchovy and Caper Bruschetta along with one of her favorite wines, CONCHA Y TORO Marquez de Casa Concha Merlot (Chile).

The orange peppers were roasted previously and stored in a glass jar into which Gale added extra virgin olive oil and garlic cloves.  She uses roasted peppers often and tries to keep them on hand.  Gale roasts them on her gas stove top, places them in a bag to finish cooking, then peels off the dark, roasted skins.

When we arrived at Gale’s La Cresta home, she sliced some crusty Italian peasant bread, toasted it under the broiler and carefully arranged slices of her prepared peppers on top.  Since we all love anchovies, she opened a thin tin of rolled fillets topped with capers and completed the delicious dish.

What a lovely view we enjoyed as the cool Panama evening allowed for good, lively conversation with dear friends.

We laughed when Gale told us about receiving two matching owls for her owl collection this Christmas.  Each owl was given to her by one of her children, one living in NYC and the other in Italy. Neither child knew what the other would get for Mom, quite a surprise.   You can see a few of Gale’s owls sitting among the candles along her delightful balcony.

We could not have planned a more perfect interlude in our round-the-world travels than spending time with this most interesting and multi-talented lady.  Thanks so much Gale, and we hope you can visit us in Boquete soon.