Neil Patrick Harris “Napa-fies” the Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage at BottleRock 2024

by Gavin Meichelbock

This article is part of BruinLife’s BottleRock music festival coverage happening from May 24-26, 2024.

Day two of BottleRock 2024 saw more celebrities showing off their cooking prowess on the Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage. Neil Patrick Harris, of “How I Met Your Mother,” and his husband David Burtka, celebrity chef and actor, headlined the stage’s second performance.

The show began with the host, Liam Mayclem, giving an enthusiastic, “What’s up BottleRockers,” to the audience before welcoming them to the “queerest corner of BottleRock.” Mayclem proceeded to bring out the “virgin BottleRockers,” Harris and Burtka, who were met with ecstatic applause from the crowd. Harris said that he had never drank this much before to which the host proceeded to jokingly list all of the alcohol in Harris’ trailer. Mayclem then asked the couple what they would expect to bring to their dinner party. The two replied immediately with “abs and no gag reflex.”

It was on that note that Mayclem brought a third guest, drag queen Bianca Del Rio. Upon coming out on stage, Rio said she didn’t expect her walk-up song to be so gay and that the only thing she could cook was a certain kind of drug; the audience laughed at the joke. As if to up the ante, Rio took the chef to the corner of the stage and started giving him a makeover.

Harris and Burtka started to make the food and first on the menu was chicken fingers. Burtka pointed out how the food at BottleRock was incredibly fancy and they needed to elevate their menu, hence the term “Napa-fi.” While preparing the chicken, Burtka threw a premade tender into the audience but terribly missed his target and had to throw another one. Back at the counter, Burtka and Harris added crème fraîche and caviar to “Napa-fi” the chicken. Deciding it was his turn, Harris then threw a chicken finger into the audience and proceeded to do a magic trick. Harris asked the lucky audience member to pick a number one to 100 and he would guess what it was. He guessed 24 and the audience member said he got it; the crowd erupted in thunderous applause. Sadly, Harris shut it down, realizing the audience member lied.

After this impressive display of magic, Rio said the only magic trick she could do was make a bottle of wine disappear; the audience laughed again. The next food item was Napa-fied tater tots. Not only were they sweet potato tater tots, but they were topped with a mornay sauce and shaved black truffle. Rio made another joke, this one in reference to her black truffle; again, the audience ate this up. Harris passed the plate of tater tots around the crowd before going back to the kitchen to mix up the evening cocktail – a liquid nitrogen frozen margarita.

Although Harris said he had never worked with liquid nitrogen before, he said there was no better time to start. While all of this is going on, Rio continued the chef’s makeover by putting a wig on him. The audience’s enthusiastic cheering garnered Rio to say they thought the chef looked pretty from the back. The chef then began to sing “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story. Back to the cocktail, Harris pretended to burn himself on the nitrogen and a fake hand flew across the stage. He then named the cocktail “frozen cocktail failular” and he and his husband moved on to making the final item on the menu, duck liver wrapped in cotton candy.

With the menu completed and the makeover just about finished, it was time to decide the chef’s drag queen name. The song “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross started to play as Rio, Burtka and Harris each suggested a name. The winner was picked “clap-o-meter” style and Harris won. The chef gave his victory lap, saying the he felt fabulous and this was the first time he ever felt like a woman. He then grabbed some cotton candy, proclaimed that “this drag queen eats” and ended the show.

Between the endless laughs, magic tricks and a makeover transformation, audiences were surely given a treat at BottleRock 2024.

Featured Image Photographed by Cathryn Kuczynski/BruinLife.

Photographed by Cathryn Kuczynski/BruinLife.

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