My friend Charley Stanchik has a YouTube channel, Scared in the Kitchen. To begin with, Charles is, first and foremost, a fan of the King, Elvis Presley. That must be distinctly understood. Charles is not an Elvis impersonator, but he carries himself in the style the Memphis Mafia — a typical outfit is white tie over a black shirt, two-toned shoes, black pants — and he tries in every way to honor the essence of the King. And he does a good job of it.
Charles does dress in full Elvis regalia on Halloween, and he passes out candy in front to the local CVS as a much-beloved part of the Chevy Chase neighborhood Halloween Parade along our three-block commercial strip. Hundreds of children and adults attend, often in very clever costumes, but Charles always is the main attraction.
Here we are —
Note the blue suede shoes.
On his YouTube channel, Charles styles himself as a “Representative to King Elvis Presley and Culinary Specialist.” His cooking is unconstrained by standards cooking techniques and recipes. For example, his recipe for Chewy Pizza involves microwaving a non-microwave DiGiorno pizza. The center comes out chewy.
Actually, the Chewy Pizza recipe is among his least adventurous. Most of the recipes follow his motto: “if it fits in he microwave, shove it in. And a pound of cheese goes with everything.” Most of the dishes are aptly labeled “surprises.” Examples are Egg Salad Surprise, Pasta Surprise, and Chili Surprise. You should check them out. I can’t say that I’ve ever tried any of these recipes, and I won’t promise to try any. My tastes run in more conventional channels. But I do admire Charley’s efforts and his bold individuality in a city of charcoal grey suits. It’s always a pleasure to see him.