MIAMI — Zoom has been a blessing in disguise for entertainer Andy LoRusso during the COVID-19 siege.
“Everybody is into that. It keeps me active. It keeps me cooking and it keeps me marketing,” said LoRusso — The Singing Chef —who will be performing invitation only shows at Buffalo Run Casino and Resort this weekend.
He’s been “serving up” the virtual classes from Naples, Florida.
In addition to being a celebrity chef, LoRusso has penned several cookbooks.
One is dedicated to his father’s side of the family, which comes from southern Italy, and the other to his grandmother’s side (she was from Sicily).
“The whole concept really started because I love to eat so much,” LoRusso said. “People ask ‘what came first? The singing or the eating?’ The eating. That sorta happened, because I love to eat.
“My mother said I came out singing with my mouth wide open, so over the course of the years, I’ve been performing with bands and in night clubs”
His grandmother was an inspiration in the beginning: “She had all the beautiful Italian music playing when she would cook. I said ‘this is a wonderful thing because it brings a sense of family back into the home,’ which of course now as we know everybody is scattered all over the place. Before the pandemic, people were just not cooking at home and not being with their family.
“It brought the family back together in the kitchen to cook together again, sing together and create an atmosphere of warmth and family and good food. It blossomed and steamrolled into what it is now.”
He said his show is “unique and different, something that people can enjoy. They can hear singing. They can dance. They can cook and learn some recipes.”
LoRusso, whose singing career dates back to the 1960s when he signed a deal with Epic Records, got a big break while making an appearance — set up by Dick Clark — on the “Donny & Marie Show” around 1996.
He suggested building the segment around putting recipes he was using to Italian classics. It was a big hit and his career took off after that.
LoRusso also has worked with, Ellen DeGeneres, John Travolta and Susan Lucci in a career that now spans 28 years.