I have a recurring dream where I'm in a long gown at a very High Society dinner party with William Powell, one of my first celebrity crushes. Yes, I know it's an odd choice, but I defy you to watch My Man Godfrey and not fall in love with him, too.The fun and flip movie critic Frank DeCaro (you may know him from The Daily Show) took his love of celebrity and food to the next level, researching favorite dishes and drinks from celebrities who have "passed on."
The Dead Celebrity Cookbook is an interesting trip in the Way-Back Machine, offering glimpses of dishes that are very representative of the life and culture of different decades. It's also an homage to a time when celebrities seemed more glamorous and sophisticated.
DeCaro also has a very cheeky sense of humor. For example, the recipes and celebrities are organized by chapter headings like Talk Chow or Musical Munchies, grouping talk show hosts or singers together in fun categories. And some of the recipes themselves had me laughing out loud. Who could resist Liberace's Sticky Buns, or Andy Warhol's Stuffed Cabbage?
It's fun to imagine that Isaac Hayes (Shaft!) would like to cook prissy little Cornish Game Hens. And I can totally see Dean Martin combining Burgers and Bourbon. But what the heck do you think is in Gloria Swanson's Potassium Broth?
This is a fun read with recipes that are nostalgic, both for who they represent and for the decades gone by. My only quibble? Where's William Powell?
The Dead Celebrity Cookbook is published by HCI.