By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Phillies’ season may not be going well, but The Sarge is cooking!

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Actually, he really was cooking today, in front of a lunchtime crowd at the Reading Terminal Market.

Gary (“The Sarge”) Matthews turns out to be a man of many talents: former all-star outfielder turned Phillies’ broadcaster, and now amateur chef.

He says he’s been cooking most of his life.

“My mom taught me how to cook at an early age,” Sarge notes.  “And in spring training, and when I played in the minor leagues, I did most of the cooking.  I didn’t really like cleaning up a lot, but I didn’t mind cooking.”

But this was his first time cooking in front of a live audience — and he was admittedly nervous.

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As the cameras rolled at the Reading Terminal Market’s new demonstration kitchen, “La Cucina,” Sarge whipped up one of his favorite dishes, a shrimp-and-crab chowder served up in sourdough bread bowls.

(Gary Matthews puts his chowder recipe to the taste test. Credit: Paul Kurtz)

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“It’s just a dish that I’ve become familiar with, and it’s something that I like,” Sarge said.

The crowd seemed to like it as well, including longtime Inquirer food columnist Rick Nichols:

“This is great chowder that he made, and I love the idea of putting a spritz of lime in at the end.  It kind of gives it a special tweak, so it’s not just some stodgy old New England chowder.”

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