Feeling flavors his food interest Cooking: Life experiences lead counselor to keep the artistry and value of food in perspective.

Kitchen Encounter

April 02, 1997|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,SUN STAFF

As a therapist who has thought deeply about many things, Larry Fox approaches food with a contemplative attitude. Trained as an artist and as a counselor, he has been a sculptor, a caterer and a cook in a communal living situation in New York state.

Today his work is helping people sort out the meaning of patterns in their lives, but he still cooks a couple days a week in a local mission founded by Mother Theresa. And recently, he spent two weeks in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of a professional kitchen.

It was his wife, Leslie Burchell-Fox, an acquaintance of Joy America Cafe chef Peter Zimmer, who gave Fox a birthday present of two weeks in the kitchen of the Federal Hill eatery.

"My first word [for the experience] is wonderful," Fox said. "I think as an artist, I really have an appreciation of what Peter does."

But while Fox was in that kitchen, the northern Baltimore resident recalled his catering days decades ago, when he gave an elaborate annual party for his clients. One year, preparing the feast that cost "thousands of dollars," he saw a television show about starving children in Ethiopia. He canceled future parties. "We started taking the money and finding a charitable place to put it."

That commitment to feeding the hungry held. While he loved the generosity and artistry of the professional kitchen, he said, being there at Joy America gave him a new appreciation for the men fighting AIDS at the Gift of Hope mission in East Baltimore. They are deeply grateful, he said, for a simple plate of scrapple and eggs.

Here is one of Fox's recipes.

Lentil-brown rice casserole

Serves 4 to 6 as a main course

2 cups cooked lentils

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 medium onion, diced

2 tablespoons oil

2 cups plain yogurt

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the oil and saute the onion. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the cheese. Mix well and pour into a casserole dish. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Pub Date: 4/02/97

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