Rick Bayless, Chef-Slash-Thespian, on His Next Show

We chatted with the Chicago chef at Cooking Light's Light Up the Night event about his current theater projects
Staff Writer
Rick Bayless

Jane Bruce

Last time we spoke to Rick Bayless, the Chicago chef planned a dinner date for us (potentital suitors please click here) in response to his new dinner theater show "Cascabel."

Seeing as the "Cascabel" run is over, when we caught up with Bayless at Cooking Light's Light Up the Night event, we had to ask if he'd do it again.

"The thing with that show was it’s a very expensive show to do," Bayless admitted. "The tickets were not cheap at all, but we didn’t make any money, so it was a labor of love for most of us."

His guess for future plans? A relaunch for another six-week run. "We wrote it, we produced it, it was a great hit," he said, "But now we’re all thinking, 'Oh it would be better, if we did this, did that.'" So up next for "Cascabel": more additions to the story lines, some backstories to the characters, and a bit more involvement in character development.

In the meantime, Bayless is serving as a diplomat of sorts with the American Chefs Corps (which he says is a "really exciting thing; never before have chefs been brought in to be an active part of diplomacy,") while also working on a separate production.

"Part of our struggle with ['Cascabel'] was you could only have 150 people in the audience, and the food had to come super fast," Bayless said. "If you’re thinking about serving a gourmet hot entrée to 150 people in 3.5 minutes, that was a real challenge. Now my idea is to do something that is a little more personal to me."

Currently he's writing a show with stories about his own history as a chef, and the audience would ideally be only 30 or 40 people so Bayless himself can cook for them. "I’ve been doing a bunch of writing, sort of personal history writing," Bayless said. "Every chapter of this thing I’m working on is focused on this dish and how this dish really sums up a certain part of my life, so I would like to tell a story of my life essentially in a five- or six-course meal. And each dish would have something in it that’s really about me personally, how I got to be the person that I am."

Which means Bayless will probably be putting out a memoir as well. "Maybe in conjunction with [the play]," he said. We're expecting a movie next.

Rate this Story