If Brian Boitano were here right now, what would he do? Well, guests attending an event at Macy’s Valley Fair on Aug. 10 got to see exactly what Boitano would do; he would cook.
The Marian A. Peterson High School (now middle school) alum, most famous for winning a gold medal in men’s figure skating at the 1988 Olympic games in Calgary, is passionate about food. So passionate that he spends nights awake at his San Francisco home perfecting new recipes – some of which are available in Boitano’s cookbook, What Would Brian Boitano Make?
“When I started cooking for myself after the Olympics…I kept these notebooks of all my very favorite recipes – things that I liked serving, things that I liked eating and those developed into this cookbook along with the best stories that I can remember and how food has changed my life,” said Boitano. “I’ve been cooking and eating around the world since I was 13 years old. So I really experienced a lot of different things. The cookbook is filled with fun recipes with easily accessible ingredients. They lean toward the healthy, but as you’re going to see today, I always step out of bounds a little bit.”
In the Macy’s store kitchen, Boitano prepared two of his “very favorite recipes for entertaining” – polenta with spicy sausage and red pepper relish and southwestern sopapillas.
“Even though there are very few steps involved, which is a must for me because everybody has a very busy lifestyle, they’re still delicious and will impress anybody who comes over for dinner,” said Boitano.
Throughout the demonstration, Boitano cracked jokes – like how he’s been sharpening knives (blades) since he was 8-years-old – and took the few random things that went wrong – like the oil being too hot – in stride. To keep the audience engaged, he gave some of the guests freshly made samples and walked into the crowd with his mixtures at various points so that each person got a good look at what he was making.
When he finished cooking, each guest received a sample of the two appetizers Boitano made before they lined up for a book signing with the author. Boitano didn’t just sign the books, however, he spent time with each person and was genuinely interested in what they had to say. With every book he signed, Boitano asked the recipient what they enjoyed cooking and then quickly flipped through the book to point out recipes that they would enjoy making. He truly is passionate about his creations and it was clear he wanted the audience to be passionate about their potential for greatness in the kitchen.
What Would Brian Boitano Make?: Fresh and Fun Recipes for Sharing with Family and Friends is a collection of recipes from Boitano’s kitchen along with stories from his life and stunning photos of the finished products. The cookbook is available through Amazon.com for $22.89 or Barnes and Noble for $23.09.