Everything Was Beautiful at the Ballet — and Tasty, Too

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Soto in the kitchen this spring. Photo: Patrick McMullan

New York City Ballet principal dancer Jock Soto retired recently, but on Thursday he'll already be returning to Lincoln Center. This time, though, he'll be the caterer — or, at least, his company will be. "I'm Jock of all trades," says the dancer, clearly rehearsing a line he's used before. His catering outfit will serve food at a ladies-who-lunch luncheon following a special rehearsal of the company's benefit performance of Ecstatic Orange, in which he originated a lead twenty years ago. Soto has long had a passion for food — he co-wrote a cookbook with fellow City Ballet retiree Heather Watts, and he catered his longtime dance partner Wendy Whelan's wedding — but it's an admittedly odd one for a dancer. "All my career I had to watch what I ate," he says. "Now, I don't really have to. I can eat butter and cream and all the good things. No more unitards for me! As long as I look good in a suit, that's all that matters."

Rebecca Milzoff