In the spirit of Jesus’ loaves and fishes miracle, two Texas bishops are proving it’s possible to do amazing things with food and serve a spiritual purpose.
Now in its third year, the cooking show In the Bishops’ Kitchen [Vimeo] provides a relaxed venue for members of the Diocese of Dallas to see Bishop James Stanton and Suffragan Bishop Paul Lambert in their aprons rather than their chasubles.
Viewers pick up cooking tips along the way. They’ve followed their leaders through Lenten recipes, from seared scallops for grownups to tuna noodle casserole with potato-chip crust for the kids.
But the point goes beyond the plate.
“They both love to cook,” says show creator Bret Williams, who handles communications for the Diocese of Dallas. “So when I presented the idea to them, they ran with it and helped develop the recipes and craft the dialogue for the first episode.”
“Our goal with the show,” he adds, “is simply to uplift and encourage our diocesan family while allowing our bishops to connect with our members in a fun and lighthearted way.”
Two new, 20- to 30-minute episodes are posted online each year. In the works for 2013 is one called Grillin’ and Chillin’ with the Bishops. A second episode will serve up seasonal dishes for Christmastide.
The format has hit the spot beyond Dallas. Colleagues who’ve seen clips at House of Bishops gatherings have asked when they’ll be invited on the show, Williams says.
They might not have to wait long. Williams sees possibilities beyond the kitchen and cyberspace. He hopes one day to stage live episodes for studio audiences and charge admission to raise money for missions.
“The audience would receive samples of the food, and the bishops would interact with the crowd throughout the taping,” Williams says. “The show would be filled with surprise ‘guest chefs.’”
As they say in show business: stay tuned.
G. Jeffrey MacDonald