Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Gregory Porter is welcoming us into his kitchen and that’s one invitation we can’t pass up.
On Wednesday, the Bakersfield-based jazz vocalist launches “The PorterHouse with Gregory Porter,” a new six-episode online cooking series. Episodes will post each Wednesday at 9 a.m. on The Infatuation and Zagat’s YouTube channels as well as a landing page for Citi, which is the presenting sponsor for the limited series.
Those who know Porter’s story won’t be surprised by this latest venture: He worked as a chef in his brother’s cafe, Bread-Stuy, in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in the early 1990s.
In the trailer for the new series, Porter said, “Music and food, two things in life I truly love, have always been connected. The kitchen was actually my home before I ever stepped on stage. Food is not just food, it’s tradition, it’s family, it’s roots, and that’s what music is.
“When I make a beautiful dish, something that makes people feel good and it brightens their face and lightens their mood, this is the way I think about music. Writing songs and creating dishes have always inspired me.”
Each episode will highlight a life experience behind the dish or feature a special song inspiration, with highlights from Porter’s catalog including his latest album, the 2020 Grammy-nominated “All Rise.”
Wednesday’s debut episode features Porter’s beef borscht, which is inspired by a family recipe from wife Victoria and a dish he enjoyed during his initial tours of Russia.
Other episodes will feature Porter sharing recipes inspired by his community — he is seen shopping at Luigi’s deli in the trailer — as well as his tour experiences and family traditions from growing up in Bakersfield with his mother and seven siblings.
Focusing on the importance of giving back amid rampant food insecurity in the U.S., the sixth episode will spotlight a food donation at House of Ruth, a local ministry and soup kitchen operated by Porter’s brother Dionne.
As part of its support of “The PorterHouse,” Citi has pledged an additional donation to longtime partner No Kid Hungry to provide up to 100,000 meals for U.S. families in need.
“We are always looking for exciting ways to give Citi clients access to exclusive talent and experiences,” Carla Hassan, Citi’s chief marketing officer, said in a news release. “’The PorterHouse with Gregory Porter’ allows us to do that while also supporting No Kid Hungry in their fight against childhood hunger, an area Citi is committed to driving progress in.”
The first season concludes June 16 followed by an exclusive hourlong finale event for Citi card members on June 17 that will consist of an intimate Q&A with Porter, followed by a full-band, multi-song concert performance — Porter’s first in over a year.
Citi card members can register for the event. The first 100 card members to sign up will have the opportunity to participate in a virtual Halleck Vineyard tasting that will kick off the Q&A and performance from Porter, and receive a shipment of Halleck wines to sip along at home. (The winery’s varietals are featured in some episodes.)
More details on the event, as well as recipes and cooking instructions, will be posted at citientertainment.com/landing/the_porterhouse_with_gergory_porter.