Hollywood: Celebrity Nosh and Slosh Edition
By Tim Parks
Celebrities have a long and storied love affair with sharing their penchant for culinary creations via cookbooks, while others have taken their passion for the grape into the realm of public consciousness with their own brand of wines.
But for every Julia Child or Francis Ford Coppola-like success in these ventures, there are bound to be a few missteps along the way. Take for example, Carnie Wilson’s Diet Staples Cookbook that chronicled her meal choices, post-gastric bypass surgery – postage stamp sized Cornish game hens, anyone? Why not wash it down with Lindsay Lohan’s Swill? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Still, they sold better than Judy Garland’s Pills For Every Meal cookbook from back in the day.
But fear not, there are some new offerings on the immediate horizon and are currently on the shelves to whet your appetite and quench your palette.
Everyone’s favorite macrobiotic woman, Gwyneth Paltrow, is back on the food scene with It’s All Good after unleashing the previous how-to-cook efforts My Father’s Daughter and Notes From My Kitchen Table, as well as the healthy lifestyle website goop.com.
In her newest tome, Paltrow lets us in on the elimination diet, which does not consist of eating nothing but roughage. Rather, it’s to treat what may ail you and consists of the following: “no coffee, no alcohol, no dairy, no eggs, no sugar, no shellfish, no deepwater fish, no potatoes, no tomatoes, no bell pepper, no eggplant, no corn, no wheat, no meat, no soy, nothing processed at all.”
If that’s her equation of things being all good, I shudder to think of what she would term as bad.
For an actor that made a big gay splash with his role in The Devil Wears Prada, it’s surprising that Stanley Tucci has the rather pedestrian titled cookbook The Tucci Cookbook. I mean would The Devil Eats Pasta really have been that big of a stretch? Plus, he also starred in some foodie flicks, like Julie & Julia and Big Night, so that gives him some sort of street/kitchen cred.
His Italian heritage is the true star of this show, with Tucci highlighting that “most of the world eats to live, but Italians live to eat.” Hopefully if he ever cooks any of these Italian recipes that are compiled from both sides of his lineage for Meryl Streep, he’ll make sure to serve it at a non-glacial pace, lest she go all Miranda Priestly on his ass.
Sometimes the term celebrity gets applied to those folks who, let’s face it, really aren’t. Here are two such examples of reality stars who should have dairy-centric cookbooks called Milkin’ It.
First up is Kate Gosselin, formerly of both husband Jon Gosselin and their reality TV show, Jon & Kate Plus 8. Her Love Is in the Mix is a collection of recipes centered around catering to her large brood, whether it’s appetizers or decadent desserts. Ironically, there isn’t one called “Failed Marriage,” which consists of a d-bag husband baked with Ed Hardy T-shirts and sprinkled with regret.
Real Housewives of New Jersey controversy lightning rod Teresa Giudice is a three-time over New York Times Bestseller with her previous cookbooks, all of which manage to throw a variation of the word fabulous into their titles. So, you could have knocked me over with a flipped table, err, I mean feather when her newest incarnation was named Fabulicious!
This time around the embroiled-in- fraud- indictment- and- facing- possible- jail time- reality star is focusing on the joys of outdoor grilling. Yes that pun was intended, OK? Her Smoking Hot Backyard Recipes steer away from her usual Italian-themed fare, in favor of featuring 70 recipes that run the gamut from the perfect meat rub – no comment – to off-the-grill side dishes. And who knows, if the Bravo star ends up serving time perhaps she will continue to publish on the inside and we can all look forward to Fabu Prison Cookin’ in the future.
Even politicos with the last name of Romney literally get into the mix, I mean when you make a run at the White House and lose, what else are ya gonna do? Bake some comfort food and stuff it down your gullet at The Romney Family Table! Rest assured, there are recipes for buffalo right wings with a red dipping sauce and humble pie.
Glug, glug, glug
As if Hollywood power couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt didn’t have enough on their respective plates – or rather in their cup runneth over wine glasses – with a large brood to attend to and movies to be, made, they have recently added vinters to their resumes.
Their Miraval Rose is produced on their meager 150 acre vineyard at their ramshackle $60 million South of France estate Chateau Miraval – insert eye rolling and sarcasm here – and the initial 6,000-bottle run sold out within five hours. Uh oh, that means that their six children better get to steppin’, those grapes ain’t gonna stomp themselves. Isn’t child labor why people have large families?
Given that she was in rehab by the time she was 14, it seems a little surprising that Drew Barrymore has started up her own brand of wines; even more surprising is that her Barrymore Pinot Grigio brand was “created to honor her family.” Um, most of them were raging alcoholics, so I’m not sure why she didn’t name the wine Barrymore Irony. But a big thumbs up to her, as a portion of the proceeds go to charity.
Apparently Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie was a big fan of the ’80s prime time soap Falcon Crest, seeing as her wine is named Ferguson Crest. But rather than partnering up with Lorenzo Lamas on the venture, Fergie Ferg has enlisted the help of her father to create a 2010 Syrah, a red wine that has hints of black pepper, graphite – which gives it a rocky flavor, I suppose – cassis and chocolate.
Her signature brand Fergalicious is a blended red wine, which combines Cabernet sauvignon, syrah, Grenache and merlot with a spicy and fruity bouquet; to quote her song of the same name it sounds t-t-t-t-t-tasty, tasty.
Someone else from the Real Housewives franchise, Bethenny Frankel, has turned her Skinny Girl Cocktails brands of alcohol, including tequila, cosmos and mojitos, into a bonafide success – too bad the same can’t be said for her struggling self-titled talk show.
Now, she has launched a bevy, or a Bethenny, of low calorie wines including a Prosecco that is described as “a bubbly mix of light and crisp, of sass and class.” Sounds just like the lady herself, well, mostly.
Richard Gere has launched a Tuscan Wine Label, which like the Jolie-Pitts, is named after a property he owns. In this case, that would be Bedford Post and is produced by the exclusive brand of Brunello and Tenuta San Filippo di Montalcino.
All I know is that he should have named it after himself, seeing as he is aging just like a fine wine.
So, there you have a perfect way to have a nosh or a slosh like a celebrity; and if you are feeling extra brave in your mealtime decisions by all means check out rapper 2Chain’s cookbook The B.O.A.T.S II, which includes a recipe for “Me Time Sauce.” And I will leave you with that little bit of food for thought.