It starts, of course, with the D-phrase: "Dinner Theater." But if The New York Times finds Cascabel "a sliver of romantic hokum that is mostly used as a platform for a series of Cirque du Soleil-style diversions," it calls the food served during the show "predictably delicious." And while it says Rick Bayless is more suited to "Dancing With the Stars" than a future in serious theater, it sees Cascabel as a natural outgrowth of our present celebrity chef culture:
It is not really surprising to see a chef plying his trade onstage. As the culture of cooking well has exploded on television, chefs have become all-purpose celebrities who sometimes seem to do as much entertaining — as in performing — as they do cooking. The proliferation of food shows and competitions like “Top Chef” and “Hell’s Kitchen” has probably made a stint at a culinary school a more reliable path to celebrity than acting school.