Breaking Bread with Father Dominic: Episode 106 (1999)

This bun-baking priest is hella endearing

Aug 24, 2005 at 4:00 am
During the opening credits of this cooking program produced by St. Louis' very own KETC-TV (Channel 9), you see the feet of three priests walking into a church. The first has on a pair of well-manicured Birkenstocks, so as to emulate Jesus. The second has on a pair of brown Rockports -- acceptable in semiformal settings such as morning mass, but at the same time humble and comfortable. The third priest is wearing a pair of black Converse All Stars with no stockings, and the camera follows him as he breaks from the communal pack and heads up a flight of stairs into a small kitchen.

Look out, followers! It's the cool priest, the one who wears black Converse and cuts out on confession, yo! Yeah, this is a pretty corny introduction to Father Dominic, a bearded, bald, bespectacled priest who cooks in a hooded black sweatshirt and sports a virtuoso Shelly Fortel St. Louis accent. Dominic's passion is bread, and he equates kneading hot cross buns with golden raisins to "going on an adventure." If this is the extent of Father Dominic's excursions, that would explain his ample midsection.

In the course of Episode 106's 30 minutes, Father Dominic also bakes butter-pecan bread and sausage rolls, confessing that he "just loves sausage in the morning." Well, duh. But what makes Dominic hella endearing is that he continually warns viewers of his bread dishes' high fat content. "Please don't make these every day," he repeatedly cautions, while his doughy physique clearly indicates that, personally, he could give two shits. That's hypocrisy, and that's cool. If there is a God (a question Dominic can readily answer), this flour-fingered priest will land a gig with the Food Network, especially now that the anti-bread Atkins diet is so 2004.

Each week the author treks to the Schlafly branch of the St. Louis Public Library, where a staff member blindfolds him and escorts him to the movie shelves. After selecting a film at random, Seely checks it out and reviews it.