The New Jewish Theatre is serving up an opening entrée to its 21st season with a tasty adaptation of celebrity Chef Rossi’s autobiographical memoir, Raging Skillet – equal parts book launch, cooking demonstration, heaping helping of comedy, and a side of Jewish mother guilt. Based on Chef Rossi’s true life story, the play begins when Rossi’s Jewish mother discovers the microwave, and home-cooked meals become a thing of the past. What starts as a rebellion against her Orthodox parents, chauvinism in the kitchen, and the pressures of conformity ends with Rossi becoming New York’s No. 1 punk-rock, Jewish, lesbian caterer.
“Raging Skillet will be a marvelously unique experience for the audience,” explained director Lee Anne Mathews. “It’s a simple and sweet story about a daughter and her mother, wrapped in a package of rock-n-roll, hilarious comedy and delicious culinary treats. It’s a literal smorgasbord of sights, sounds, tastes and feels. I’m excited to bring this production to life and share it with the community. This will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen (or tasted) at The J!”
Edward Coffield is pleased to open his first season as NJT artistic director with this particular production. “We chose to open with this play because of its unique humor and mother-daughter dynamic. Chef Rossi – a fan favorite at the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival in 2015 – and St. Louis seem to be bashert.”
Rossi will be in St. Louis for rehearsals and the opening night performance to reconnect with her St. Louis fans.
Audiences can expect to sample a few of Chef Rossi’s avant-garde culinary creations, such as Snickers and Potato Chip Casserole – something Rossi writes within the recipe’s direction as “nasty, but lord, nothing tastes better to a teenager.”
Raging Skillet runs Oct. 4 to 21 at The J’s Wool Studio Theatre (2 Millstone Campus Drive St. Louis, MO 63146). Tickets for this delicious evening includes a sampling of Chef Rossi’s signature “anti-catering” recipes. For tickets and more information on the NJT season, visit newjewishtheatre.org.
Snickers and Potato Chip Casserole
2 Snickers bars
1⁄2 stick sweet butter
3 handfuls marshmallows
1 bag plain potato chips
Chop up your Snickers bars into chunks. Cut the butter into pieces. Grease a 9-inch pan or dish (a glass pie plate would do fine) with butter. Over low heat, melt the butter. Then add the Snickers and marshmallows. Crumble up the potato chips with your hands and then mix the melted Snickers, butter, and marshmallow goop with your crumbled potato chips. Your ratio should be about equal chips to goop.
FYI: Go for plain chips, not salt and vinegar or anything like that. Once you mix, scrape the goop into your buttered pan and smush till it’s all in. Top with a smidge more crumbled chips and let cool. When cool, you can cut into the size pieces you want to devour. This is so nasty, but lord, nothing tastes better to a teenager.
Serves 6 teenagers