Welcome to our new blog — The Backstage Baker. In it, we will document the baking exploits of James Latus, stage manager and baker extraordinaire. Everyone who has ever worked with him has finished a run at least five pounds heavier, thanks to his inspired and irresistable baked goods. James and I have been sharing recipes for years and have finally decided to put them all in one place so everyone can enjoy them.
A native of Milwaukee, and the oldest of seven, James was raised in a Taste of Home household where home-cooked meals and home-baked goods were the norm. “I even remember my mother smuggling margarine across the state line because we couldn’t buy it in Wisconsin due to dairy industry prohibitions. She still believes that half butter, half margarine is best for baking, especially when baking cookies.”
How can you not trust someone whose mother smuggled margarine across state lines to bake the tastiest cookies??
James is also famous for baking magnificent birthday cakes for cast and crew. On the back of the actor information sheets he hands out on the first day of rehearsal is the following Birthday Information form:
If your birthday falls during this production, you have the following options . . .
- Please DO NOT acknowledge my birthday, I choose not to celebrate.
- Please do acknowledge my birthday, but don’t make a big fuss about it.
- Heck yes, make a big deal about my birthday! I like the following type of cake:______________
Most actors choose the cake.
He’s made cakes for Pee Wee Herman’s Miss Yvonne, “Bottom’s Dream” cupcakes for a production of “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and a decadent chocolate whiskey cake for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” We’ll share photos and recipes for all these and more.
Eat on, MacDuff!