Synopses & Reviews
If you've ever fantasized about feasting on Frank Sinatra's Barbecued Lamb, lunching on Lucille Ball's "Chinese-y Thing," diving ever-so-neatly into Joan Crawford's Poached Salmon, or wrapping your lips around Rock Hudson's cannoli - and really, who hasn't? - hold on to your oven mitts!
In The Dead Celebrity Cookbook: A Resurrection of Recipes by 150 Stars of Stage and Screen, Frank DeCaro--the flamboyantly funny Sirius XM radio personality best known for his six-and-a-half-year stint as the movie critic on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart--collects hundreds of recipes passed on from legendary stars of stage and screen, proving that before there were celebrity chefs, there were celebrities who fancied themselves chefs.
Their all-but-forgotten recipes--rescued from out-of-print cookbooks, musty biographies, vintage magazines, and dusty pamphlets--suggest a style of home entertaining ripe for reexamination if not revival, while reminding intrepid gourmands that, for better or worse, Hollywood doesn't make celebrities (or cooks) like it used to.
Elizabeth Taylor's Chicken with Avocado and Mushrooms
Farrah Fawcett's Sausage and Peppers
Liberace's Sticky Buns
Bette Davis's Red Flannel Hash
Bea Arthur's Good Morning Mushroom Tomato Toast
Dudley Moore's Crème Brûlée
Gypsy Rose Lee's Portuguese Fish Chowder
John Ritter's Famous Fudge
Andy Warhol's Ghoulish Goulash
Vincent Price's Pepper Steak
Johnny Cash's Old Iron Pot Family-Style Chili
Vivian Vance's Chicken Kiev
Sebastian Cabot's Avocado Surprise
Lawrence Welk's Vegetable Croquettes
Ann Miller's Cheese Soufflé
Jerry Orbach's Trifle
Totie Fields's Fruit Mellow
Irene Ryan's Tipsy Basingstoke
Klaus Nomi's Key Lime Tart
Richard Deacon's Bitter and Booze
Sonny Bono's Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce
And many others from breakfast to dessert.
"Ever since he attended a Dead Celebrity party in college that lacked the all-important feature of dishes recommended by the deceased stars, DeCaro has been collecting celebrity cookbooks in order to prevent that from ever happening again. Here, the former Daily Show movie critic shares highlights from over 145 stars (and the term 'star' is used loosely) for appetizers, mains, sides, and snacks. Jim Backus's chili, Sophie Tucker's meat loaf, and Buddy Ebsen's Chiffon Eggs are unremarkable, and since DeCaro doesn't provide sources for his recipes, it's difficult to work up interest, let alone inspiration, to break out the cookware. Even DeCaro admits that some dishes, such as Paul Lynde's beef stew and Lucille Ball's 'Chinese-y Thing,' are bland. Entertaining bright spots, such as Bob Crane's Lamb Kebabs or Dean Martin's Burgers and Bourbon, aren't enough to save the book. DeCaro's introductions frequently make little to no mention of the dish; instead he focuses on the performer's career, making for a rather disjointed read. This, combined with the lack of a source guide, make for an incomprehensible collection that will please only the most hardcore stargazers. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
(New York, NY) is heard each weekday morning on his own live national call-in program, "The Frank DeCaro Show," on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, which now boasts more than 25 million subscribers. His guests have run the gamut from Ernest Borgnine to Tom Ford--on one
three-hour show!--and his following across North America is as loyal as it is diverse.
An accomplished home cook and an even better eater, DeCaro writes the "Now Remember" column for CBS Watch magazine. Previously, he wrote the "Style Over Substance" column for The New York Times. A graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, he has written for myriad publications including The New York Times Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Newsweek, Vogue and TV Guide.
Both a writer and a performer, DeCaro co-created the 2010 YouTube sensation "Betty White Lines," a rap tribute to the Golden Girls star which was featured on the Today show, Showbiz Tonight, and dozens of blogs, and got more than 100,000 hits in its first week online.
In addition, the award-winning DeCaro is the author of the groundbreaking A Boy Named Phyllis: A Suburban Memoir, which Vanity Fair called "hilarious" and The Advocate credited as opening the door for David Sedaris and "the gay American humorist as everyman." His follow-up work, a coffee table biography called Unmistakably Mackie: The Fashion and Fantasy of Bob Mackie, earned a B+ in Entertainment Weekly. Visit the author at FrankDeCaro.com and deadcelebritycookbook.com.