Sensuous Gourmet of the Month: Michael Tylo
by Diane Masters
Michael Tylo, this month's Sensuous Gourmet is a sheer delight, to say at least! And he could make his way around the kitchen at Jonelle's Supper Club as confidently as if he'd been doing it all his life. Michael is a chef in his own right, and his culinary expertise in Eastern European foods stems back to his heritage. Michael learned how to cook Hungarian and Polish food from his parents, as he was growing up in downtown Detroit. This was real Motown country, where Michael got to hear groups like the Supremes and the Temptations try out new material long before it hit the charts.
But tonight, the flavor would be more continental. Michael decided to make a chicken dish, served on a bed of spinach, then covered with gravy and mozzarella cheese. To say it was delicious does not do this meal justice. I enjoyed every bite.
As the evening progressed, and we could talk at leisure as we dined, I discovered that Michael Tylo is an incurable romantic. "I was born about one hundred and thirty years too late," said Tylo. "I should have been a Cossack." As he spoke, I could imagine Michael riding a high-spirited stallion through the beautiful Hungarian countryside, dressed in high boots, a heavy wool cloak with a sable collar and a sheepskin hat which could be doffed to village maidens. "Hungary is one of the most romantic places in the world to me," he went on, noting that "I also love to fence," a sport which Michael was able to bring to his character of Quint McCord.
He went on to talk about romance, and his feelings on how he'd create a truly romantic evening. His first thoughts were of his wife, Deborah. Michael certainly proves that chivalry is not dead, and it's a rare pleasure to find a true gentleman these days.
He reminisced about the days when he and his wife were really struggling - only a few years ago. Deborah was working all week and Michael took on most of the household chores, including cooking. On Friday nights, he'd give her a special treat. Michael would greet her at the door with flowers and a pitcher of Strawberry Dacquiris. Then he'd proceed to cook her up a fiery Mexican meal (they both love very hot food). If things were good (financially, that is) he'd top off this sensuous supper with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, and a bottle of Spumante. Those were very special nights for both Michael and Deborah.
Although their budget today is a bit more flexible, he still enjoys making Deborah happy with wine, candlelight, and soft violin music. His ideal evening meal is made up of many courses, so that each one can be savored, broken up by another glass of wine, a cigarette, and perhaps a touch on the hand or the cheek. At this point conversation is unnecessary. The intensity of anticipation is building. After dinner, a waltz. Then, who knows? Eating doesn't mean too much to Michael. Dining is everything.
Sensuous Gourmet of the Month: Michael Tylo - Captions
1.Michael warms up the butter in a hot pan. He then adds the lightly floured chicken cutlets.
2. When the chicken is browned (about five minutes each side), Michael spilled out the excess butter and added 1/4 cup of wine.
3. He then simmers the chicken for about five minutes. During this time he prepares the gravy.
4. Michael adds the brown gravy. This thickens the natural juices and eventually makes a delicious sauce.
5. Michael, with a flair all his own, filled another frying pan with spinach, sauteeing it until the spinach is wilted.
6. Place the spinach on a heat-proof platter.
7. Then add the chicken, on the center of the plate atop the spinach.
8. Slowly add the gravy.
9. Place thin strips of mozzarella cheese on top of the chicken.
10. Voila! The dish is now ready to be placed in the oven, where it remains until the cheese is melted or browned, depending on taste.
11. After the chicken is taken out of the oven, Michael likes to garnish the dish with parsley. And it's ready to eat.
12. Gentleman that he is, Michael shared his Chicken on a bed of Spinach with me.