Can’t decide what to pack for a picnic at the Hollywood Bowl? Just buy a copy of “The Hollywood Bowl Cookbook: Picnics Under the Stars” and be ready for the concert season, which starts June 28. The book contains recipes for appetizers that transport easily, cold soups that work well for outdoor dinners and main dishes that can be served hot or cold.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Affiliates of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn. published the book. Along with their own contributions, members sought recipes from chefs, musicians and Bowl entertainers. These include Esa-Pekka Salonen’s gravlax with mustard sauce, Itzhak Perlman’s chopped chicken livers, Marilyn Horne’s picadillo and Michael Tilson Thomas’ Chinese chicken salad.
The late Peggy Lee contributed a picnic extravaganza menu with six recipes, including smoked turkey, wild rice and three-pepper salads. Bowl orchestra principal conductor John Mauceri and his wife, Betty, provided a summer supper menu that includes stuffed chicken breasts and curried rice salad. And flutist John Galway sent in a summer picnic menu with cold salmon trout as the main dish.
Three of the 160 recipes are for a Bowl picnic classic--chicken-in-a-basket. The chicken is baked in a scooped-out loaf of bread, then wrapped to keep warm until the picnic starts. The hardcover book ends with a checklist of picnic equipment and procedures for keeping foods at safe temperatures. Photographs of program covers from the past introduce the chapters. The cover photo shows the amphitheater in 1945.
Although Bowl-oriented, the book will be useful to anyone looking for cool foods for summer and dishes appropriate for patio parties and potlucks. We tried Horne’s picadillo and thought it would be nice for the Bowl either hot or at room temperature, but would be just as good for an easy company meal.
Proceeds from sales go to a fund for children’s music education.