Famed jazz flutist and author Sherry Winston has a recipe for the perfect romantic at-home dinner date. Subdued lighting (“bright lights are a turn-off). The right music ( at my age loud hip hop is a no-no). And Chicken Wings – of course the recipe comes from her latest aphrodisiac laden recipe book!
The New Yorker has played with Stevie Wonder, performed for both the Clintons and George Bush and cooked on TV with Emirl Lagasse! After Friday night, she can now say that she performed and signed her cookbook “For Lovers Only: A Cookbook and More “ in the front window of the Another Book List in Toronto.
The Bathurst and Bloor bookstore includes a large performance space for visiting musicians and authors. On Friday night they featured a woman who is both! For Winston’s only public appearance in Canada over 50 long-time fans came out for the 2-hour event. As well, she and her host Dr. Maurice Bygrave did an hour-long interview about food and music on the CIUT FM show “Groove Radio”, with jazz pianist Bill King.
For Lovers Only: A Cookbook and More includes romantic food and drink recipes for two, along with recommendations for atmosphere and music to set the mood. Her dishes reflect her African American heritage, but she often performs in the Caribbean and likes to spice things up in food repertoire. Her favourite dish – Chicken Wings - often is accompanied with Jamaican Pigeon Peas.
“The book helps you navigate where you are in life,” said Winston on Friday. “ Dating? Married? Recently divorced? I wanted to do something different than what is out there.”
Before signing books and sampling Winston dishes prepared by bookstore owner Itah Sadu, The audience (and by hundreds of pedestrians walking by the performance space windows) were treated to a solo concert by the flutist.
Her music is best described as crossover jazz. She writes much of her own music and also offers a soft take on well-known soul music songs by the likes of Earth Wind and Fire and Beyoncé.
“This trip I am (performing) solo, because I didn’t know how well I would be received in Canada,” she said. “Next time I will bring the whole band along!”