By Avery Lieberman
Paul Cullen, a member of the band Bad Company, showcased his love for cooking and playing guitar at "Tune Your Palate: A Cooking Concert," held at the Kennett Flash on Feb. 23.
Over the course of the evening, Cullen switched from cooking demonstrations to guitar playing, while audience members enjoyed the traditional Italian that Cullen learned from his Grandma Tagliaferro.
“I do the demo of a traditional Italian dish and we pair it with traditional Italian wines, so not only do we do Italy, but we pick out specific regions where the wine is from,” Cullen said.
The carefully selected wines that accompanied the meals were provided by Frank’s Wine in Wilmington. In between dishes, Cullen was joined on stage by Joe Wirt on percussion and Kennett Flash board member Dennis Melton, on bass. The mix of Mediterranean-style jazz and the warm Italian feast made for a delicious and fun evening.
Not only did Cullen enchant the audience with jazz, but he also played Bad Company hits including “Bad Company.”
“I play a little bit of Latin jazz, which is what I love to play, even though I played in Bad Company and played rock and roll bass in front of 20,000 people every night. My true passion is Mediterranean-style guitar,” Cullen said.
Cullen put a spin on the evening, with a champagne and caviar tasting held before the concert. Mother and son Lucina vanPutten and John Duke, from Carter Caviar, hosted the tasting, along with champagne from Frank’s Wine. Carter Caviar is a family business that has local roots.
“The way the whole company started was with my uncle, my mother’s brother," John Duke said. "We went down there [to Sarasota, Fla.] to visit him and got a tour of the mote marine labs facility and they were producing grade A caviar, with little representation."
Carter Caviar made four caviars available, and each bite was new and unique. For most people in the area, caviar has not always been a readily accessible item. Carter Caviar is available at Janssens Market and The Country Butcher. The company also holds many tastings throughout the year, whether for a small group of people at a private home, or a larger event, such as at "Tune Your Palate."
“We run into a lot of the same people who do our tastings and the reason they come is because one minute we’re here, the next we’re at a golf course, and next we’re doing a ten-person tasting at a restaurant somewhere,” Duke said. “And tonight was all due to Paul [Cullen]. If you see us at a restaurant, it's mainly because we know the chef and think he’s incredible.”
For more information, visit www.cartercaviar.com.