Friday, July 10, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2987, July 10th, 2015

Your blog editor and Chef Lou at River fest 2011. (Photo: Karel Zubris).

I first became familiar with Chef Lou when his show was broadcast on Channel 19 on Service Electric. Right from the start I loved the down home style he displayed.
When I began my association with WYLN TV in 2009 I had the opportunity to meet him at the station. It was in between taping and I told him I was an Italian by osmosis. He gave me a quizzical look and I explained that I sat in and observed as my Italian aunt worked in her kitchen and prepared meals. When I told him I still used veal bones in my sauce, our kinship was sealed.
WYLN is known for its local news department, it's commitment to local high school sports as well as Community involvement like telethons for the Helping Hands and American Cancer Society. But what helped define the station to many viewers was Chef Lou. He was not a Food Network pretty boy but a real guy in the kitchen. Using his considerable experience from his days of owning a restaurant in the Lehigh Valley as well as his likable Everyman personality, Chef Lou was a hit. And not, no pun intended here, a flash in the pan. His catch phrases like, "Listen to me when I tell ya", "This is a great dish", "Don't burn the garlic" and his show ending one word summation "Ciao' as he signed off became familiar to his viewers in the WYLN TV viewing area. .
The last time I saw him was in 2011 at the Annual River Fest in Wilkes Barre. I was on the air with L.A. Tarone and former Congressman Kanjorski on The Topic A program. After the broadcast I was visiting with the many people who were there. Because of my limited mobility, Mrs. LuLac dropped me off on River Street. She asked me to call her when I was ready to come home and she'd pick me up.
As I wandered around I met up with Chef Lou. He was surrounded by his many fans from Wilkes Barre. After they dispersed we spoke of the station and my work with L.A. Tarone. He mentioned how L.A. snd I yelled at each other like people at a fish market. We then got into a discussion about Salmon until it was time to leave. I explained my wife was picking me up and I had to call her. As I shook his hand saying goodbye, I had a brilliant idea. I asked Chef Lou if he would call my wife. He asked her name and said sure. Picking up the phone he started to smile.
This is how the call went as best as I remember.
Chef Lou: Mary Ann, this is Lou.
Mrs. LuLac: Lou who?
Chef Lou: Lou, chef Lou. Come and get your husband. He's here.
Mrs. LuLac: Okay.
Chef Lou: Mary Ann, you ain't burning the garlic are ya? Because husbands, nobody likes burnt garlic.
Mrs. LuLac: I don't.
Chef Lou: Ya sure, cuz it isn't good to burn nothing, 'specially the garlic. 

After he hung up, he said, "Jeez, I hope she shows up" and we had a laugh. We then spoke of how family dinners were a thing of the past and he told me the meals he made were designed to save time for busy families.
He had been in ill health for a while and died Thursday morning in Florida surrounded by his family. He was 71.

WYLN will be holding a Chef Lou marathon all day Saturday. In Wilkes Barre that is on Service Electric Channel 7. Here's a segment from one of his shows.


At 6:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is it possible that people are still dying? I thought Obama Care was going to make sure that stopped happening.

At 7:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you like your life you an keep it?
Claims he said Def Panel, too.


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