Saturday, January 7, 2012

Catering to the Stars

Nick Grippo was an actor who couldn't get arrested (his own words) who segued smoothly into a career as a caterer. It wasn't something he set out to do, but it was something that came easily and naturally. He liked to cook. He and his fellow wanna-be actors were hungry. Cook and share!

He wrote "Hollywood Dish, Recipes, Tips & Tales of a Hollywood Caterer" with Jane Russo in 1998. Elizabeth Taylor wrote the foreward and Grippo wrote the anecdotes about cooking for such as Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Lauren Bacall and more.

Patrick Swazye and wife Lisa hired him to do tea for 2,500 after they bought an Arabian stallion. Grippo writes that it was customary in Santa Fe to celebrate the horse's arrival in this way. Grippo writes that even the horse had some tea, but doesn't say whether he made the horse a carrot cake or not.

When I read his recipe for "Louisiana Baked Shrimp," it struck me as remarkably similar to the ingredients for Pascal's Manale BBQ Shrimp which never goes anywhere near a bbq and which they've been dishing out in their New Orleans restaurant since 1913. You be the judge...

3/4 lb. large shrimp peeled and cleaned
3 T sweet butter
1 teas. chili powder
1 teas. freshly-ground pepper
pinch of cayenne
1 teas. minced garlic
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T red wine
pinch of salt
crusty bread to sop up the sauce

Preheat the oven to 400. Put the shrimp side by side in a dish just large enough for them.
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan, heat to boiling and pour over the shrimp. Bake uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes and serve. Remembering bbq shrimp at Pascal's, I'd say double the butter, chili and cayenne amounts....

Grippo died of kidney failure, age 64, in 2003. I add this in case you wanted to contact him.

No comments: