I am bombarded daily with press releases, new-product announcements, and updates on new books, especially cookbooks. I often read the subject line and quickly delete the item if it doesn’t pique my curiosity or have anything to do with an article I’m working on or plan to write.
Some of the emails and cover letters I receive are particularly inane or funny, and not intentionally! Here’s the funniest one I’ve received in a LONG time, about a new book entitled, “The Dead Celebrity Cookbook: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen.” The cover letter says:”
<<Frank DeCaro reminds us that many Hollywood celebrities enjoyed cooking long before it was “cool.” The man everyone knows as the movie critic on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart has compiled recipes from over 145 of Hollywood’s favorite stars who are no longer with us and included them in “The Dead Celebrity Cookbook.”
<<People are breaking tradition and inviting their favorite “dead celebrities” to their Christmas dinners via their recipes; in fact, having “dead celebrity cooking parties” is fast becoming the latest Hollywood trend. This has huge appeal for Hollywood trivia buffs, foodies, or anyone who loves great recipes spiked with hilarious commentary, such as, “feasting on Sinatra’s barbecued lamb, taking a stab at Anthony Perkins tuna salad, or wrapping your lips around Rock Hudson’s cannoli” (and really – who hasn’t?).>>
Are these people for real? Only in Hollywood, sigh.
Here’s the entire release, in case you just have to read more, along with a recipe for Peter Falk’s Pork Chops:
The Dead Celebrity Cookbook – A Collection Of Favorite Recipes Of Hollywood’s Most Beloved Stars
Los Angeles, CA, December 28, 2011 – For anyone who loves Hollywood memorabilia, is an entertainment junkie, and loves to eat and cook – they will treasure Frank DeCaro’s ‘The Dead Celebrity Cookbook: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen’ (HCI Books). Frank compiled favorite recipes from some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor, Sonny Bono, Liberace, Michael Jackson, John Denver, Frank Sinatra, Rock Hudson, Humphrey Bogart, and Peter Falk, just to name a few.
“I love these dead celebrities! They’re the stars I grew up watching, and they deserve to be remembered even if they were more talented on screen than they were in the kitchen. Frank clearly worships them as much as I do, and after reading ‘The Dead Celebrity Cookbook’ you will, too.” -Rosie O’Donnell
“Celebrities die–eventually–but their recipes live on, thanks to Frank DeCaro’s thorough and thoroughly delicious book. DeCaro’s dry wit is tasty, and judging from these yummy concoctions, most of these celebs died really happy!” –Michael Musto, Village Voice
Inspired by a “Dead Celebrity Party” during his college years, DeCaro thought the one thing missing from the event was the food of the dead. Since then, he’s been collecting recipes of the stars and lucky for us, he’s put them together in, THE DEAD CELEBRITY COOKBOOK: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen (HCI Books – October 2011- $19.95).
DeCaro, who is best known for his nearly seven-year stint as the movie critic on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and now heard weekdays on his own call-in radio show, gives us a giggle while feeding us treats from Tinsel Town, like Liberace’s Sticky Buns, Mae West’s Fruit Compote, John Ritter’s Favorite Fudge, and Bea Arthur’s Vegetarian Breakfast.
THE DEAD CELEBRITY COOKBOOK is here to remind you that before there were celebrity chefs, there were celebrities who fancied themselves as chefs. They were whipping up culinary delights, and sometimes sharing them with us on shows like Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas or even Johnny Carson. DeCaro gives us some entertaining and informative commentary before each section of recipes in chapters that include: “Talk Show Chow,” “An All-Night Oscar Buff,” and “I Lunch Lucy,” a whole section dedicated to the red-haired TV goddess.
Says DeCaro, “I miss those days when celebrities still had mystery about them, and a glimpse inside their radar ranges seemed, for any fan, like a window into the world of glamour and excitement, which is why I put together this book.” This book delivers recipes that the stars are dying for you to make.
For more information, please go to: www.deadcelebritycookbook.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Best known for his years as the flamboyant movie critic on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Frank DeCaro is heard each weekday morning on his live national call-in program The Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. A writer and performer, DeCaro pens the “Icons” column for CBS Watch magazine. The author of the pioneering memoir A Boy Named Phyllis, DeCaro previously wrote the “Style Over Substance” column for The New York Times. Visit the author at frankdecaro.com and on Facebook, and follow him at twitter.com/frankdecaroshow.
Available online or at bookstores or to order directly from the publisher, contact: (800) 441-5569 or www.hcibooks.com.
THE DEAD CELEBRITY COOKBOOK: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen
ISBN: 978-9-7573-1596-1– $19.95 — October 2011
Brini Maxwell, author of Brini Maxwell’s Guide to Gracious Living and creator of felixpopuli.com: “I adore this book so much I find myself on the horns of a dilemma–make the recipes or kill myself so I can be in the sequel.”
Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough,, bestselling authors of more than twenty cookbooks including Lobsters Scream When You Boil Them and 100 Other Myths About Food and Cooking: “Hankering for star-powered recipes? With this laugh-out-loud encyclopedia of Hollywood culinaria, Frank DeCaro brings out the real ‘celebrity chefs’ in spades. Or with a spade.”
Lisa Lampanelli, comedienne: “Frank DeCaro has the most delectable treats I’ve ever tasted — and the recipes aren’t bad, either! My dying wish is to have one of my recipes in The Dead Celebrity Cookbook II. Anyone for the Queen of Mean’s ‘So-Good-You’ll-Slap-Yo-Mama Chicken ’n Waffles’?”
Bob Smith, author of Remembrance of Things I Forgot: “Frank DeCaro’s two obsessions–food and the famous–have been hilariously united in The Dead Celebrity Cookbook. Reading Frank is like breaking your diet with your funniest best friend.”
SAMPLE RECIPE FROM THE DEAD CELEBRITY COOKBOOK
Peter Falk 1927-2011
He was one of the great ones–appearing in films as disparate as The Princess Bride and Wings of Desire in the same year, 1987. But no matter what Peter Falk did (and he did a lot), he will always be remembered as the police detective in the rumpled raincoat on the mystery series Columbo. The character, one he played for more than thirty years beginning in 1971, is one of TV’s most indelible portraits. Among Falk’s most beloved films were the cult hit The In-Laws, the one-two Neil Simon punch of Murder by Death and The Cheap Detective, and six pictures with his buddy, the director/actor John Cassavetes, including the 1974 classic A Woman Under the Influence. The Emmy- and Oscar-nominated actor published his memoir Just One More Thing in 2006, and it wasn’t a moment too soon. Falk was diagnosed with dementia two years later. Just one more thing: His pork chops are as toothsome as he was.
Peter Falk’s Pork Chops
6 pork chops
1 medium onion, finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup white vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon thyme
1 cup water
½ cup liquid from jarred vinegar peppers
1 cup (or more) vinegar peppers
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350°. Brown pork chops in olive oil in a heavy frying pan and remove to a casserole. Cook onions until translucent in same oil and add to casserole. Deglaze pan by adding white vinegar and stirring up all brown bits. Add to casserole along with all remaining ingredients except vinegar peppers. Bake for 1½ hours. Add vinegar peppers and cook 15 minutes more. Remove pork chops and peppers to a warm serving plate. Add 2 teaspoons corn starch to pan drippings to make gravy. Pour over pork chops and peppers and serve.
Cutting Room Floor (sidebar):
You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but Idris Elba, the hulking British actor best known as Stringer Bell on HBO’s The Wire, has said that his edgy detective character on Luther owes a debt to Falk. Luther, a childhood fan of Columbo and creator Neil Cross, explains that both the classic American mystery show and the smoking hot BBC crime series are “howcatchems” not whodunits, and no one did that better than Lt. Frank Columbo.