Marc Vetri and music that cooks
When Phil Roy, R.J. Cutler and Marc Vetri, first got to know each other in Los Angeles back in the 1980s, Roy was a struggling singer-songwriter, Cutler was a struggling filmmaker and Vetri was a struggling guitar player paying the rent by working in the kitchen.
My how things change.Today, Roy's songs have been recorded by Ray Charles, Pops Staples, Aaron Neville and Joe Cocker. Cutler is an acclaimed documentary maker ("The September Issue," "The War Room") and television producer. Vetri's not doing so bad, either. He's the chef at Vetri, one of Philadelphia's most acclaimed restaurants and recently named one of America's top 50 restaurants.
He's also written two cookbooks, the publication of the most recent of which, "Rustic Italian Food," was the occasion for a reunion of sorts Wednesday night, at Cutler's wonderful Mediterranean revival house in the Hollywood Hills.
Vetri, nobly assisted by Grace's Neal Fraser and the Strand's Travis Lorton, cooked dinner, making full use of the wood-fired pizza oven in Cutler's backyard.
And then he and Roy set up in the living room for an impromptu jam session. Not only can the guy cook, he's actually a pretty good guitar player, even after all these years.
-- Russ Parsons
Photo: Marc Vetri, left, and Phil Roy. Credit: R.J. Cutler