Grapevine: Detroit opera singer given prestigious award

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
George London Foundation President Nora London, center, with 2017 George London Award winners Michelle Bradley, from left, Aaron Blake, Lara Secord-Haid, Will Liverman and Errin Duane Brooks.

Detroit opera singer wins George London Award

Detroit opera singer Errin Duane Brooks was one of five winners of the 46th annual George London Foundation Awards, which honors American and Canadian opera singers. The tenor won the $10,000 George London-Kirsten Flagstad Award at the competition, which took place Friday in New York City. Brooks recently performed in “Silent Night” and “Carmen” with the Michigan Opera Theatre.

Local chef wins ‘Guy’s Grocery Games’

Metro Detroit chef Chad Barrett walked away with $16,000 in winnings after appearing on the Food Network show “Guy’s Grocery Games.” Barrett competed against three other chefs on the shopping and cooking competition, which was filmed last year and aired Sunday evening. The show, now in its 12th season, features culinary star and character Guy Fieri, who pits three chefs against each other in a grocery store — Flavortown Market — and poses wacky challenges on them. “It was amazing to win,” said Barrett, who was the champion of a breakfast-cooking challenge. “Really one of the best feelings in the world to compete against three amazing chefs from across the country. Watching it with my family and seeing how proud everyone was of me really made the whole experience come to reality.” Barrett said the biggest challenge on the show was shopping, plating and cooking in under 30 minutes. “Time restraints are difficult in a cooking challenge,” he said. A sous chef at the Chapman House in Rochester, 29-year-old Barrett told The Detroit News in December that he’s a big fan of the show’s host. “It was amazing to finally meet someone I watched on TV for so many years,” he says of Fieri. “The show was a huge highlight of a tough year for me and my family.”

Dick Gregory performs Sunday in Royal Oak

Political comedian Dick Gregory will take the stage at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle on Sunday for a special event. The 84-year-old civil rights activist has published several books and comedy albums, including 2016’s “You Don’t Know Dick.” Tickets are $30 for his Sunday show, which also features comedian Mike Bonner and emcee Justin Nesh. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; the show follows at 7:30 p.m. Visit to purchase tickets in advance. The club is at 310 S. Troy in Royal Oak. Call (248) 542-9900.


Ryan Seacrest’s Beverly Hills mansion caught fire Sunday night. The star purchased the $50 million home from Ellen DeGeneres in 2012. Seacrest posted photos of the damage to social media assuring that “everyone is okay.”

■Actor Zoe Saldana welcomed her third child with husband Marco Perego. She broke the news on Instagram and revealed the boy’s name is Zen.

Compiled by Melody Baetens

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