Two things that I love: cookbooks and Cary Grant. Put them together and I’m in ecstacy. That’s what happened when received What Actors Eat When They Eat. It’s a vintage cookbook, published in 1939, which features the favorite recipes of movie stars from that era. Cary Grant loved barbecued chicken. Who knew?
What Actors Eat When They Eat is officially my favorite cookbook. Each recipe is accompanied by a photo and bio of the actor and the actor’s comments about the dish. The comments are cheeky. It’s an enjoyable read even if you don’t care to try the recipes. To be honest, I’ve tried a few and they aren’t that tasty, but they are interesting.
The recipes are quite different than what we would probably have from actors today. Back then there was no concern for gluten free, kale infused, low carb food. Recipes used ingredients like…fat pork and calf’s head! You can read about Lucille Ball’s Brazil nut stuffing, Clark Gable’s hunters breakfast (made with 12 doves), Betty Grable’s watermelon rind pickle, Humphrey Bogart’s cocoanut Spanish cream, Gene Autry’s little pigs in zucchini, and Jack Benny’s shrimp salad a la Benny. The fact that Boris Karloff has steak and kidney pie is just creepy to me. The fact that Al Jolson is shown in black face and his recipe is fried rabbit is a reminder that some things need to stay in the past. Nevertheless, What Actors Eat When They Eat is a delicious piece of Hollywood memorabilia.