No matter how busy he is, entertainer Shavar Horton finds time to step into the kitchen.

"I love to cook. And I like trying things I've never made before," said Horton.

The actor, singer, dancer is currently one of the ensemble members in the touring production of "Disney Live! Mickey's Music Festival," which runs March 15 to 17 at the Akoo Theatre in Rosemont. FYI: Call (800) 745-3000 or visit

Among favorite dishes he enjoys creating are garlic Parmesan wings, pizzas, homemade tacos, chicken dishes, macaroni and cheese and many other recipes.

"A few weeks ago I had people over and made a five-course meal," he said, adding lamb stew was one of the highlights.

About the garlic Parmesan wings he makes, Horton said they've been a hit with family and friends. In fact, a friend's father liked them so much he decided to make Horton's recipe and sell the wings at his Arizona pizza parlor.

"I wrote the recipe for him and he started selling them," Horton said, in an amazed sounding tone. The performer, a native of Pittsburgh, Penn., has also experimented with various homemade pizzas and came up with one he called a Philly Cheesesteak Pizza.

"When I'm home, I cook all the time," he said, adding he not only cooks for friends and family but enjoys cooking for himself. "But ever since I was a kid I've been cooking for my family. I learned by watching my mom and dad cook and then I was able to just experiment and see what worked and what didn't work."

Horton grew up eating various Soul Food dishes his mother made, including collard greens, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and other pasta dishes.

"My dad also liked to make oxtail soup and black-eyed peas," he said.

When Horton dines out, he said he likes a restaurant to have variety. "But Italian is my favorite," he said.

The performer said he's enjoying being on tour with Disney Live!

"This is a high energy show and includes a lot of the favorite songs from the movies that have been remixed," he explained. "Audiences can (and will want to) get up and dance and sing during the show."


2 pounds chicken wings

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons garlic salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon all purpose seasoning

1 stick of butter

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup minced garlic

DIRECTIONS: Set deep fryer to 350 degrees. Mix flour and all seasonings in a large zip loc bag and set aside. Rinse wings and season lightly with all the seasonings listed. Place about 8 wings into the flour mixture. Cook wings in deep fryer for about 8 minutes or until golden brown. (I like to place the cooked wings onto a plate covered with a few paper towels to absorb any excess cooking oil). Once all the wings are cooked, get a large mixing bowl. Melt the stick of butter. Once melted, add the grated Parmesan cheese, minced garlic and mix together. Gather all the chicken and add to mixture and toss the wings until all are fully coated. You can add some extra garlic powder and Parmesan cheese for a even more intense garlic Parmesan flavor.

Source: Shavar Horton

Eloise writes about food and entertainment for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight children in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.