What good fortune I have this week! Some of you know the Texas Shakespeare Festival is one of the delights of my life. I have been involved in some form since the start of this wonderful event. I asked my dear friend, Daniel Brown, to share some of the recipes he serves to the company of actors and techs. Not only did he share the recipes with me, but what a delight to see his skill as a writer in taking over this column.

My name is Daniel Brown, and I am the Director of Patron Services for the Texas Shakespeare Festival.

Lauren Linsey is a coworker of mine, and one of our jobs is to feed our company of 74 three times a week! This is no small undertaking. We’d like to share some of our own recipes with you, East Texas!

In honor of our 34th season, we’ve titled this recipe after one of our shows. Our artistic director and company founder, Raymond Caldwell, baked 83 potatoes for our company members for lunch. They were delicious. We had eight or so potatoes left, and Lauren and I refuse to waste food. The potatoes were served buffet style with all the fixings. So, we went down the line of the leftover ingredients and combined them with the potatoes. The end result was a fabulous, Southwest-inspired dish!

Potatoes ‘Born Yesterday’ Salad

8-10 leftover baked potatoes

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

1/2 cup bacon bits

1 can corn, drained

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup fiesta blend cheese

1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon cumin

Salt & pepper to taste

Omit the bacon bits to make a vegetarian-friendly salad

Take the leftover potatoes and cube them, peel on. Combine all ingredients simultaneously, carefully stirring until all ingredients are mixed. Do not overmix or potatoes will mash.

This next recipe is about as vibrant and fresh as summer gets! It is vegan friendly and really brightens one’s pallet and day.

Mango-Papaya Salad

2 fresh papaya, cubed

4 golden mangoes, cubed

1 large, fresh jalapeno, diced

1 red onion, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

4 limes for juicing

Cracked black pepper and sea salt to taste

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon garlic powder

Combine all of the vegetables and seasoning in a bowl. Stir gently. Juice the limes over the salad mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve as a side or with tortilla chips as a dessert.

Its name is quite the statement. Chipotle is a resident favorite of the TSF company members; however, with little time to make the trip to Longview, most of us are left with just a longing for it.

That said, Lauren and I took to the kitchen to come up with a compromise for those cravings, and what we discovered was something that actually tastes better — if you can believe that.

The following dish is perfect for a summer barbecue, a southwest inspired dinner, or even as a perfect summer day snack.

Better than Chipotle Salad

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can yellow corn, drained

1 can white corn, drained

1 red onion, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

1/8 cup cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbsp garlic powder

2 tbsp cumin

4 limes to juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all of the vegetables and seasonings in a bowl. Stir thoroughly. Juice the limes over the mixture and stir gently. Serve as a side or with tortilla chips.