“The Singing Chef” Andy LoRusso is promoting public awareness of dystonia, the third most common movement disorder, estimated to affect 250,000 people in the United States. “Cooking for a Cure” on Friday, January 29, 2021 (6:00 PM Central Time) is an online interactive cooking event to benefit the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF). With 100 anticipated participants, it will be LoRusso’s largest-ever virtual event. Tickets are $20. A portion of proceeds from Singing Chef Sauces also benefit the DMRF.
For two years, LoRusso has been coping with blepharospasm, a type of dystonia that causes uncontrollable blinking and closure of the eyes. “I want to give back in hopes of finding a cure,” he said. “It’s also about fun. Cooking and singing, creating a happy, positive mood, bringing family together in the kitchen—that’s been my passion for 30 years.”
Since the 1990s, “The Singing Chef” Andy LoRusso has performed thousands of cooking-cabaret shows blending food, song, and dance to bring people together. He has partnered with celebrities and top chefs around the world. Growing up in Newark, New Jersey, LoRusso discovered his passion for authentic Italian food and music in the kitchen with his Sicilian grandmother. His Grandmother Grace routinely played the arias of great Opera singers while she cooked. LoRusso began his career with Epic Records, recording popular jazz standards, and studied with voice coach Giovanna d’Onofrio. He is the author of the best-selling cookbook and album combo, Sing and Cook Italian, and Sing & Cook with Andy LoRusso the Singing Chef.
Dystonia is a chronic, often disabling, neurological disorder marked by extreme, involuntary muscle contractions that cause abnormal body movements and postures. Common signs include excessive blinking, abnormal movements of the head and neck, a breathy or choking voice, hand cramps, or a twisted foot. Because dystonia is not better known, symptoms are often mistaken for mental illness, intoxication, or poor social skills. Dystonia impacts people of all ages and backgrounds. There is currently no cure, and though treatments exist there is no single therapy that benefits even a majority of patients.
The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advancing research for improved dystonia treatments and ultimately a cure, promoting awareness, and supporting the well-being of affected individuals and families.