"I don't cook for just one or two people," says James Whiteside, stirring a pot on his stove. "My mom taught me to cook and she had five kids. So when I do cook, I go in!"
Aside from breakfast (usually bacon, egg and cheese on an English muffin), the American Ballet Theatre principal rarely cooks for himself during ABT's seasons. He prefers to "forage" for his lunch and go out or order in for dinner, saving the real cooking for when he has friends or colleagues to feed. "I like to have a lot of people tell me my food is delicious," he quips.
One of his favorite dishes to prepare for friends is chicken pot pie, using his mother's recipe as a base and combining it with one he found on the internet. "Every time I visited her I would make her teach me how to make something," he says of his mother, who passed away last summer. "She was an amazing cook. I know everyone says their mom is a good cook, but actually."
He's not one for being exact with ingredients—he might measure out the milk, add it to the pot, then shrug and pour in more from the quart. "Cooking for me isn't a fancy affair," he says. "It's incredibly personable and casual. It's about getting people you like in one room and having a good time."
His Chicken Pot Pie Recipe:
1 lb skinless boneless chicken breast
1 cube chicken bouillon
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp celery seed
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/3 cups whole milk
dash of hot sauce (Whiteside uses Cholula)
2 unbaked pie crusts (9 inches)
1 egg, separated
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
In a large pot, combine chicken, bouillon cube, carrots, peas and celery. Cover with water and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside. Remove chicken, cube or shred, and return to pot.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Add a dash of hot sauce. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Add chicken/vegetable mixture and stir.
Place the bottom crust in a nonstick pie pan and fill with chicken mixture. Cover with top crust, seal edges and cut away excess dough. Brush top crust with egg white. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Pacific Northwest Ballet principals Rachel Foster and Jonathan Porretta took their final curtain call on June 9, 2019. Photo by Lindsay Thomas, Courtesy PNB
We all know dance careers are temporary. But this season, it feels like we're saying goodbye to more stars than usual.
Many have turned to social media to share their last curtain calls, thoughts on what it feels like to say farewell to performing, and insights into the ways that dancing has made them who they are. After years of dedicating your life to the studio and stage, the decision to stop dancing is always an emotional one. Each dancer handles it in their own way—whether that means cheekily admitting to having an existential crisis, or simply leaving with no regrets about what you did for love.
We will miss these dancers' performances, but can't wait to see what awaits each in their next chapters.
A previous lab cycle. Photo by Evan Zimmerman/MurphyMade, Courtesy RRR Creative
Choreographic incubator Broadway Dance Lab has recently been rechristened Dance Lab New York. "I found the nomenclature of 'Broadway' was actually a type of glass ceiling to the organization," says choreographer Josh Prince, who founded the nonprofit in 2012.