Live Theater, Live Theater Reviews


Posted: December 30, 2020 at 9:34 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Comfort food is in the house for the third episode of Cooking, Carols and Cocktails, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis’ web series celebrating St. Louis’ most prolific musicians and chefs.

Helping to spread virtual festive cheer is Joe Mancuso’s Organ Trio, whose set opens with a boppy It Had to Be You before moving onto a jazzy What Child Is This? that intersperses wonderful organ riffs and snazzy percussion with Mancuso’s rich baritone voice. The band’s skillfully meshing of traditional blues and jazz continues with a rousing St. Louie Blues before closing out with another holiday standard, Silent Night.

Keeping things spicy, Cooking, Carols and Cocktails takes the party to Cathy’s Kitchen (250 S. Florissant Rd.) for some New Orleans-inspired flavor. Chef/Owner Cathy Jenkins has spent the last eight years serving African American cuisine featuring recipes that have been passed down from generations. She is a soulful chef whose food is steeped in personal history as well as rich flavors.

During a conversation with episode host Tonina, Jenkins speaks of how her business has remained a vibrant fixture in the community while adapting to challenging times. She also reflects on how she began her culinary career by cooking for family get-togethers.

Cheered on by her husband, family and friends, she eventually opened her own spot in Ferguson. Once open, Jenkins selected a menu that was deeply personal. Inspired by a cross- country trip, the menu features a broad range of savory selections that have drawn rave reviews and interest from celebrities like Danny Glover and Nancy Pelosi, as well as Melissa Etheridge, who asked Jenkins to serve as her personal chef.

Two Cathy’s Kitchen favorites are featured across several segments in this episode. First up is her popular jambalaya, a full flavor assault that can be augmented for vegetarians. Jenkins’ recipe includes basil, paprika, shrimp, chicken, sausage and thyme, which come together to make a juicy and filling delight. Next up is her highly touted sweet and spicy wings, which features her own sauce along with zesty seasonings.

Since every great night of theater needs a nightcap, The Rep enlisted local mixologist Heather Sharpe to transform vermouth and bourbon into the Perfect Manhattan. Tending a virtual bar, her cocktail flawlessly caps off a show filled with hot jazz and tangy tastes.

Unable to perform with live audiences, The Rep’s web series Cooking, Carols and Cocktails celebrates the creative spirit of St. Louis’ finest chefs, musicians and mixologists. The Rep’s mainstage season begins virtually on March 5th with Little Shop of Horrors.

Presented in collaboration with Once Films, Cooking, Carols and Cocktails screens online through January 1st. Tickets are $15 per episode or $50 for the entire series. For more information, visit or call The Rep Box Office at 314-968-4925.