Impeccable taste distinguishes Chef Frankie Celenza when he steps into his SoHo kitchen, and when he dips into the literary canon. Here Frankie blends his gustatory and dramatic sensibilities, peppering lines from Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband throughout a step-by-step preparation of the ideal breakfast: a savory egg-dumpling bedded on hen-of-the-wood mushrooms steamed in dashi broth. A drop of balsamic. A pinch of chive. A dash of the great playwright’s pith, which packs more bite than the tartest yuzu powder.
One such zinger, “Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast,” affronted Frankie so deeply that he vowed to quiet Mrs. Cheveley, who delivers the barb in Wilde’s play. Frankie counters Chevely’s chilly cynicism with a warm entree sure to pique your appetite for a Victorian comedy, and for more of his inspired dishes. New Yorkers can watch Frankie Cooks every Wednesday night at 9:25 PM, on NYC LIFE (channel 25). He’s always manning the stove on Frankiecooks.com.