Being a great dramatic actress sometimes
allows for extra panache in the kitchen.
A little background: My mother, Alicia
Bibiloni, was the first woman from Puerto Rico to attend, at the tender
age of 16, the famed New School for Social Research, forerunner to the
Actor's Studio. Here she studied under the immortal Erwin Piscator.
The year was 1946. Since then, my
mother has juggled her career -becoming, in my view, the best dramatic
actress of her generation in Puerto Rico- with raising a family, after
marrying in 1949, the most famous comedian/actor in Puerto Rico, Ramon
Rivero, also known as Diplo. Of my mother's many mouth-watering inventions,
improvisations and creations (in the kitchen), so many that it would take
days to catalogue, my favorite is Arroz con Pollo (Rice with chicken).
Arroz con Pollo, which could be labeled
as the national dish of Puerto Rico, is the tastiest Arroz con Pollo in
the world. It is the one dish that, after decades of living abroad, I
always ask my mother to make for me, when I "go" home.
Now with her family grown up and grandchildren
running around our big, spacious house in San Juan, it is Arroz con Pollo
that allows my mother to set aside time in her still, very busy schedule
(doing radio and poetry recitals) to bring the family together. Arroz
con Pollo. It is a delicious experience, especially when it is prepared
with the authority and flair-let us not forget the love-of a great artist.
About Jose: Joseph Orbi
is the author of highly acclaimed novels Peter's Choice and il
Cenacolo. He has also written the stage plays Pendejo (produced
in New York in 1987), Leonardo, The Duke & The Provocateur,
(showcased at Lincoln Center in 1994) and Murder A Capella. Please
visit the site he created to honor his father, Diplo, and his mother,