Family-Inspired Celebrity Cookbooks
Thanks to a steady stream of entertainment gossip, coupled with a tendency among some stars to overshare, we know quite a bit about the personal lives of celebrities. But what's often lacking from these accounts are the details that make stars most human: their family, upbringing, life at home and what they like to munch on after long day on set or stage.
Through these books, stars come a bit closer to the rest of us by inviting readers into their kitchens and family histories with cookbooks drawing upon their childhood memories and traditions. You may not count Jay-Z and Beyoncé among your intimates, but you can at least eat like those who do.
During his 30-year career in Hollywood and on Broadway, actor Stanley Tucci has dined around the world and sampled myriad delicacies, but he still maintains that his mother's Italian cooking, "for consistent ingenuity and excellence," trumps the rest. "I am all too aware," he writes, "of the cliché at work here: the eldest son of an Italian American family saying, in essence, that no one cooks as well as his mother. But in this case it is not mere sentiment that leads me to this conclusion, but a sensitive and discerning palate."
In "The Tucci Cookbook," he commits his family's classic Southern Italian dishes to paper, pairing recipes with anecdotes from his "food obsessed" clan. He incorporates the recipes, too, of close family friend, chef and cookbook author Gianni Scappin, who introduced the Tucci family to Northern Italian flavors and techniques. The book includes nearly every Italian classic you can think of—from bruschetta and focaccia to lasagna and leg of lamb—as well as a Tucci-Scappin sauce-off.
Fans of Gwyneth Paltrow's popular online magazine Goop know that the Academy Award-winning actress is dedicated foodie. But for the full story on how Paltrow first learned her way around the kitchen, and what cooking has taught her about the importance of family, look to her star-studded cookbook, "My Father's Daughter." In it, she shares the recipes she learned as kid while acting as sous chef to her father, the late producer Bruce Paltrow, as well as the dishes she's honed with her own children and husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.
Many know Eva Longoria for her role as the conniving and materialistic Gabrielle Solis on "Desperate Housewives," but off-screen, the actress maintains a more reverent attitude towards the home, especially when it comes to cooking. Raised on a Texas ranch and now an avid traveler, Longoria's culinary style fuses traditional Mexican cuisine with European flavors and styles she's sampled along the way. In "Eva's Kitchen," she shares recipes, anecdotes and family photos from the ranch days.
You'll not be surprised to hear that the family of Ralph Lauren—whose brand aims to capture the classic American lifestyle—spends its summers sailing and clam-baking among the mansions of New York's Hamptons. In "The Hamptons Food, Family and History," the designer's wife, Ricky Lauren, gives readers a peek into the iconic family's culinary traditions. Lauren divvies up her recipes according to the Hamptons' four distinct regions—Easthampton, Southampton, Amagansett and Montauk—and delivers her takes on summertime classics, from shrimp salad to steamed lobster and mussels in wine sauce. An artist in her own right, Lauren also includes photographs of family gatherings and watercolors of Hamptons scenery.
Shopping, gossiping and cat-fighting on camera for millions of viewers is apt to make a girl hungry and in "Fabulicious!," "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice proves that she can set a table just as well as she can flip one. Both traditionalist and health-conscious, Giudice shows readers how to adhere to the rules of classic Italian cooking while trimming calories. Fans of the show will appreciate the greater window into Giudice's life, as she shares stories of her childhood, her own parenting adventures and secret Giudice family recipes.
Fans of "Fox News Sunday" know that the show's host, Chris Wallace, likes soup, as he often raves about his wife's concoctions on-air. Now, in "Mr. Sunday's Soups," Lorraine Wallace has delivered a full collection of recipes, organized by season and accompanied by full-color photographs. Pumpkin-pear (for fall) and frogmore stew (for spring) are among the Wallaces' favorites.
Award-winning singer Trisha Yearwood lives with her husband (and fellow country music sensation) Garth Brooks in Oklahoma, but a part of her will always be a Southern belle from Georgia. In this follow-up to her first cookbook, "Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen," Yearwood fills in readers on the Deep South classics that she grew up with, as well as the cowboy grub she's devised all on her own. Family stories and anecdotes further evoke the down-home lifestyle that has inspired Yearwood's music and cooking alike.