In 2001, as do many schools, the Milwaukee Jewish Day School created a cookbook with the goal of raising funds for their school. But, unlike many schools before them, the Milwaukee Jewish Day School solicited stories and recipes from Jewish celebrities – and actually received replies which included autographed pictures, personal tales, and – of all things – recipes! This is one FUN cookbook.
Not only is The Jewish Celebrity Cookbook filled with recipes for appetizers, main dishes, side dishes, and desserts – but there are stories and anecdotes from (nearly) all ninety celebrities. It is so fun to read this book and the inspiration behind the recipes that have been shared. Apparently, several of our favorite celebrities do not cook, but they have still managed to share some wit, someone else’s recipe, or some hints for getting really good take-out.
The only “bad” thing about this cookbook is that one becomes so caught up in reading the biographical content that hours pass by and one realizes she has not finished planning her menus for the upcoming Shabbat. Who knew, for example, that Judge Judy does not cook. At the time this cookbook was published, her husband joked that she “hadn’t cooked in twenty-two years”. She did, however, offer her services for the art of restaurant reservations.
The reader will also find recipes from Faye Kellerman, Dean Ornish, and Steven Spielberg. Barbara Walters shares her mother’s stuffed cabbage rolls. Andrew Weil? His mushroom barley soup looks delicious. And, “Dear Abby” shared her fabulous chocolate cake and fluffy white frosting.
Some of my personal favorites include: Mayim Bialik, who shares her sweet potato matzah ball tzimmes with apricot sauce; Billy Joel’s Wisconsin marinated chicken that blends soy sauce, orange juice, brown sugar, garlic and ginger; and the recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream from the actual Ben (Cohen) & Jerry (Greenfield).
There are authors and owners and actors and politicians throughout The Jewish Celebrity Cookbook. I’ve read through this book over and over throughout the years I’ve had it, and it’s always an enjoyable “read”. You’ll discover people you did not know were Jewish and be able to say “wow” about some of the more hidden accomplishments of the Jewish people. Writing this review took me three hours and forty-two minutes because I had to read through the whole darn thing (again) before I could write a single sentence.
But, it was loads of fun… and now I have my Shabbat meals planned for the next three weeks.
I received this book as a gift from my mom and decided to write a review on it. You can still purchase this book at Amazon.