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Celebrity--not "celebrity chef"--cookbooks

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I was looking through a cookbook by Sophia Loren the other day and I was wondering if anyone had a favoritte celebrity cookbook(s). I really regret not buying a cookbook by Richard Deacon that I saw at a thrift store a few years ago. Deacon played Mel Cooley on "The Dick Van Dyke" show. When I was in Bonnie Slotnik's cookbook shop in NYC, she said that a lot of people are interested in Uta Hagen's cookbooks. Who knew? Then there's my friend who really loves Isaac Hayes soul food cookbook. She swears by it. Has anyone cooked out of any of Patti LaBelle's cookbooks? Fatih Ford's? Amy Sedaris's? Naomi Judd's? Any other more unusual selections?

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  1. Well, I don't have it, but Dolly Parton has a cookbook out, which I thought was kind of unusual. http://cookbook.dollywood.com/order.aspx I'm betting someone will get it for me, (probably my grandma) because I like Dolly! (Yes, I am proud to admit it- I have a sweatshirt that says "Have a very Dolly Christmas!" with her in a white jumpsuit! Too much information, right?! ;-) Gladys Knight also has one: http://www.amazon.com/At-Home-Gladys-... Big fan of hers too, so I'm betting my dad will get me that one at some point! I might have to check out Half Price Books for some celebrity ones. I've actually heard good things about Patti LaBelle's.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Katie Nell

      You're preachin' to the choir as far as Dolly is concerned. I think she's a national treasure! I had no idea that she had a cookbook out. That's exciting! She'll be competing with Tammy Wynette's and Loretta Lynn's cookbooks (I have both).

    2. I always have liked the Chinese Chicken Salad recipe from Dom DeLuise's Eat This cookbook

        1. re: Dave Westerberg

          I've owned this for many years and absolutely treasure it. Not only are there restaurant menus and recipes but the volume also contains the Price's own recipes.

          Breast of Capon au Whiskey and the Konigsberger Klops are our family favorites.

          1. re: Sherri

            Looks like you can still get lots of copies cheaply at Abebooks:

          2. re: Dave Westerberg

            Its a great book...good reading. I've seen it on Amazon for as much as $250.00...it has become a collector's gem. Wife bought it years ago for $5.00.

            1. re: OldTimer

              Hang onto your wife - she's got a great eye. See if she can spot Digby Anderson's "THE SPECTATOR, book of Imperative Cooking". It is getting pricey also.

            2. re: Dave Westerberg

              I found Vincent's on ebay for $45 dollars because my mother wouldn't let me take hers. I watched many copies soar over $100. It has the best recipe of Paella I've ever made, and also a section on the restaurant "Chavez Ravine" - in other words, Dodger Stadium in LA (hot dogs of course)!

              1. re: bobbyperu

                I'm keeping an eye on several listed on eBay as well. Looking forward to reading it!

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  Just got my copy form abebooks--a later printing so only $28. It really is a nice book. Fun to read.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    Hi Linda - did you get one yet?

                    I just received my copy today. As usual, the CHs put the bug in my ear to buy another cookbook to add to my collection. Just flipping through the book, I can't wait to go through it tonight. Lucked out on Ebay, 1965, first edition, excellent condition, for $18.27.

                    Hmmm... hope we didn't bid against each other! It was this one:

                    1. re: Rubee

                      RUBEE!!! You stinker. And lucky bidder! You got it for a GREAT price! I think I had yours on watch, but it went off on Thursday at 9am-ish. I was flat out at work trying to get stuff done all day so I could take Friday off with a clear conscience.

                      I've bid on a couple, but $21.05 was my highest bid - both books I bid on went for $27 and $35, respectively. Both 1st edition, printed in 1965.

                      I'll just keep plugging away. And I might take a trip to the NE Mobile Book Fair this weekend.

                      Enjoy the book - can't wait to finally get one!

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Good luck!

                        Keep me posted, and then we can start on a thread on what recipes we try : )

                        1. re: Rubee

                          Rubee - I got my book today! I started thumbing through it (went to the Boston-area restaurants first) and can't wait to read through it and flag recipes I want to try - what an absolutely gorgeous book this is!

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            You will love it!

                            Btw, could you please email me when you get a chance? - rubeekiss@aol.com.

                2. re: Dave Westerberg

                  The Prices did several cookbooks, not just the big fancy one. My favorite is "Mary and Vincent Price's Come Into My Kitchen," a compendium of what they considered THE classic American dishes, all beautifully organized and illustrated with those charming lithographs that were so popular in the '50s. It's a much more intimate and personal book than the fancy one, and so far it's been a lot more useful.

                  I have several books of recipes by assorted celebrities, one from the days of the OLD Vanity Fair - pre-WW2 - and one from 1963 called "Cooking As You Like It," with a vaguely Shakespearian theme, with recipes from such diverse folks as President Eisenhower and Jayne Mansfield. These were often used, I've found, as not-so-subtle promotions for food manufacturers: there's one, and now I can't find it, that oddly enough seems to have either a Campbell's soup or A-1 sauce in almost everything...coincidence? Hmmm....

                3. Maya Angelou's "Hallelujah! The Welcome Table" is a beautiful read (to me, anyway) but I've not tried any of the recipes yet...the southern Carmel Cake sounds intriguing and most of the recipes are Southern.

                  1. I received the book by Amy Sedaris for Christmas, and it is hilarious. If you enjoy her sense of humor, you will definitely appreciate this book. It is a fun read from cover to cover. Although I haven't tried any of her recipes yet, she does include the recipes for the cheeseballs she sells and a lot of her family's greek recipes.

                    Living in the south, I have heard people swear by Patti LaBelle's mac & cheese.

                    1. Not from a cookbook, but the "Mrs. Duvall's crab cakes" recipe on foodandwine.com is my go to recipe for crab cakes, and was created by Robert Duvall's mother.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Megiac

                        I don't know how I got on this board but couldn't help an aside on the crabcakes. I went to Food and Wine for the recipe and it is a pretty standard recipe for Maryland style crabcakes, minus the ubiquitous Old bay seasoning. I've tried fancier versions but this is still the best because the crab flavor is not overwhelmed. My father had this recipe written on the inside page of an old Fanny Farmers Boston cooking school edition in My recollection is that he added a little minced red pepper and tabasco sauce rrather than cayenne. My dad who was from New England, liked his seafood au naturel and tended to cook classic seafood.
                        The other comment is that what Robert Duvall and I have in common is that both our fathers were rear admirals in the Navy and as military people, military food is pretty damn good. Good recipes get passed around and go around the world. Then again, those were the days when recipes called for one cup sour cream, one cup sour cream, etc. What's not to like? Military wives were big on collecting bookbooks such as the Junior League regional cookbooks. I wish I knew how much everyone seems to like the celebrity cookbooks which I donated to the local library after my mother died. Let's see now: she had the Vincent Price, Dinah Shore, Kate Smith, every damn Junior League city worth mentioning (Charleston, New Orleans), the original edition of How to Cook a Wolf, every James Beard book, the original Trader Vics. I've given away over 100 in the past 3 years. Does anyone know of a good way to post my next giveaways on Chowhound so I can send them to a good home (free of charge).

                      2. Oprah's cookbook, "In the Kitchen with Rosie" is pretty good for light/low calorie fare. It contains recipes for Oprah's favorite foods when she was dieting, prepared by her personal chef.

                        I have a couple of cookbooks by famous people that I bought because they were interesting, but I haven't cooked out of them.

                        One is the Oriental Cookbook by Pearl Buck.

                        The other is Helen Gurley Brown's Single Girl's Cookbook -- this one is a great read.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: DanaB

                          my favorite is Cristina Ferrare’s Family Entertaining...it has lots of good stories as well as food

                        2. Patti LaBelle's book are pretty good, although i recently came across an article about Liberace having a cookbook, i thought it was a joke, but apparently the guy could really cook. So you might want to google that and check it out. If your also a food and travel enthusiasts, Gourmet magazine is running a sweepstakes where you could instantly win a trip for 2 to a luxury resort for 2 days. Check it out http://condenast.eprize.net/gourmet/i... Just enter by signing up, and answer 5 simple questions and find out if you're an instant winner. Just thought i'd share since i work with Gourmet.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Slick_Will

                            Did you see Nigella's "White Trash" episode?? She made Elvis' peanut butter and banana sandwiches, ham cooked in Coke, etc., but she also showed her private cookbook collection and Liberace's was in there, as was the WWF... apparently, she likes the recipe for The Rock's chocolate chip cookies! She said Liberace's cookbook was very good.

                            1. re: Katie Nell

                              hmm. . . interesting that nigella would highlight "white trash" american foods in an episode rather than the working class cuisine of britain. . . mushrooms on toast, anyone?

                          2. I wouldn't call it a favorite celebrity cookbook, but someone actually gave me Sophia Loren's, and I was pleased with the couple of things I made. Should take another look through.

                            1. The Miss Piggy Cookbook! brilliant.

                              1. I've got the Nancy Drew Cookbook. Does that count?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Candy

                                  It does as far as I'm concerned. I love Nancy Drew!

                                  Years ago, someone gave me a cookbook entitled "Ike the Cook...Dwight D. Eisenhower: General, President, Cook". It has marvelous photos of Ike and Mamie, and lots of recipes that I've never tried. It's just a cookbook I keep in my collection. Guess I'm dating myself, but I actually remember Eisenhower as president...barely! Hey, I said Barely! Anyway, apparently when he married Mamie, she confessed she was a cooking school dropout, so he started learning to cook when he was in the army. Here are a couple of quotes out of the book: "Food is part of a soldier's pay, and it is my determination to see that none of his pay is going to be counterfeit." "I mix my batter at night and let it stand until morning." "An army travels on its stomach. Good food is more than sustenance. It's morale."

                                2. well i love most cookbooks & frequently troll used bookstores for old gems-- i have been looking to get a good price on the isaac hayes book (looked thru it and it looks good, but they were charging too much for this used book), and i will snap up the vincent price book whenever i see it, it's supposed to rule!

                                  one of my goofiest cookbooks is "the lifestyles of the rich and famous" cookbook, with recipes from celebrities and robin leach too! i think i got it for like $1, but some of the recipes don't look that bad-- i think i'll try some of the recipes from eva gabor or ivana trump first, maybe. . .

                                  1. While trolling through a used bookstore, I found a gem: A book called "The Art of Cooking" by Henri Toulouse-Latrec, the bohemian painter. Published in the late 50's, the book has some interesting bio information and some interesting notes from the translator- apparently the diminutive man was a hell a cook! The recipes are old fashioned ("add a glass of cognac", or "boil well"- no real measurements to speak of) but interspersed through the pages are excerps from Henri Toulouse-Latrec's sketchbooks. Forgive me for not providing more detailed bibliographical information, I'm moving in a couple of weeks and I've already packed my cookbooks!

                                    The other one that smacks of celebrity is "the Nanny Ogg Cookbook" by Terry Pratchett- it's a pretty decent "home cookin'" kind of cookbook based on the humerous/saterical/fantasy characters from the author's Discworld series.

                                    When I was little, my mom used to make some of the recipes from the Star Wars Activity Book including "Wookie Cookies" and an R2-D2 cake- Best-Third-Birthday-EVER!!!

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: lunchbox

                                      Wow... my mom would love the the Toulouse-Latrec one! ("Jane Avril" is on my purse!)

                                      1. re: lunchbox

                                        I found one like you describe at a used bookstore, too, for $10. It's really fun to page through. Mine is called "The Art of Cuisine" and is by Maurice Joyant, a friend who cooked with Lautrec and who collected Lautrec's recipes and drawings in this book as a "work of art and as a tribute." Mine is a first edition with added Lautrec menu drawings from 1966, printed in Switzerland.

                                        1. re: Neuromancer

                                          Thanks, Neuromancer- Finished my move, shelved my cookbooks and was too emabarassed to repost!
                                          Your info is correct- mine was a bit hasty-- -It's a fun one!

                                      2. I adore the MYRA BRECKINRIDGE COOOKBOOK, written by Gore Vidal's lifelong companion, the late Howard Austen. I've had Vincent Price's TREASURY OF GREAT RECIPES for several years, and it is indeed a real jewel. Also have Uta Hagen's LOVE FOR COOKING, but haven't cracked it yet. (Frankly, I have too many cookbooks, but I also write them for a living.)

                                        1. I'm not sure if this fits in this category or not, but Stanley Tucci's mother, Joan Tucci, has a cookbook that came out a few years after Big Night and features many of the Tucci family recipes used in the movie, including the famous timpano.

                                          1. If Ted "The Nooge" Nugent ever came out with a cookbook, I'd at least take a look at it. Many of the folks I know who like to kill animals know a thing or two about how to cook them as well.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: AbdulSheikhMohammed

                                              Done and done!
                                              It's actually pretty good- not haute cuisine, but some real good regional rustic stuff!

                                              Kill It and Grill It: Ted and Shemane Nugent's Guide to Preparing & Cooking Wild Game and Fish

                                              1. re: lunchbox

                                                i've seen that book in the used store! i only paged through it but it did look passable-- i'll prob. pick it up the next time i see it! i think i was afraid to get caught looking at it though, the cover is off the hook. . .

                                            2. I love Patty Labelle's Smothered Chicken with Gravy and her Screamin Mean Greens. I use pork chops instead of the chicken sometimes. Great comfort food!

                                              1. Believe it or not, Vincent Schiavelli-- the droopy-faced doctor who dissects a cadaver for Spicoli and the kids in Fast Times at Ridgemont High-- once wrote a cookbook. I remember it as being terrific (this was like twenty years ago, when I was about twenty), but can only really remember making a lemon ice recipe he claimed to be just like the ices you bought at the pizzeria back in the old neighborhood in Brooklyn. From what I can recall, it was! Strangest thing was I in some way ran into him at some kind of function or party or whatever and congratulated him on the book-- told him I loved it etc., and I' have never before or since seen anyone look so happy to be complimented! I'll have to get that thing out of storage at some point....