From the Kardashian’s fit-tea #spon to Lindsay Lohan’s nightclub in Athens, Greece, celebrities love to expand their empires in perplexing directions to make some easy coin – or, in the case of Diane Keaton’s red wine (made to be drunk on ice), sometimes just because they can.
Nowhere is this more apparent than celebrity cookbooks, created either with a life-long passion or in a maelstrom of ennui and a vague interest in food. Let’s dig in.
Can they cook things? Let’s find out! (Source: Netflix/Bojack Horseman)
SMASH MOUTH: RECIPES FROM THE ROAD: A ROCK ‘N’ ROLL COOKBOOK
In 2013, between Shrek and last year’s All Star renaissance, Smash Mouth released a cookbook, because why not? The whole thing is very on-brand, packed with ‘dude foods’ like pizza, hot dogs and nachos. You know, dude stuff, featuring an intro from Guy Fieri, which makes complete sense.
The recipes themselves aren’t from Smash Mouth themselves – undoubtably too depressing, I feel – but rather recipes from the band’s tour-stop favourites. On Amazon, it has a 3.6/5 star rating, but I am 90% most of the reviews are a joke.
KRIS JENNER: IN THE KITCHEN WITH KRIS: A KOLLECTION OF KARDASHIAN-JENNER FAVOURITES
Yes, this looks natural.
On Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Kris cops flack all the time for her reliance on catering for family dinners. While the momager has many talents (no sarcasm, she has built that family into an empire), food isn’t one – unless she’s secretly making those salads. So it’s no surprise that her 2014 cookbook is a mess.
The recipes range from basic and bland, like Kim K’s mac and cheese, to questionable. The choice to include Nicole Simpson Brown’s ‘famous’ nachos recipe is just plain weird, something only compounded by the fact the O.J. Simpson trial more or less tore apart Kris’s first marriage. There nachos are a lot more uncomfortable than your next fun party snack should be.
Eater’s list of the 25 most ridiculous quotes from the book is well worth a browse to scope out the cookbook’s ridiculousness, but a personal favourite has to be Kris’s musings on Jennifer Lopez’s stove: “J-Lo had this stove that I had never seen before. It wasn’t just a stove, it was a piece of art. It was the Holy Grail of stoves.”
2 CHAINZ: #MEALTIME
At the start of rapper 2 Chainz’s cookbook is a disclaimer: “Use of these recipes is at your own risk. UMG (Universal Music Group) is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe.” Which, you know, isn’t a vote of confidence.
Released as a tie-in for the rapper’s 2013 album B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time, the cookbook reminds devoted fans that just since “2 Chainz doesn’t write down his music, it flows naturally from his mind“, so too should you “freestyle your cooking“. Meaning “I like teriyaki chicken, shrimp scampi and garlicky green beans but I don’t care how you cook them.“
There’s no reference to breakfast, which seems like an intentional diss to 2 Chainz’s feature on Breakfast, a song from Gucci Gucci rapper Kreayshawn’s debut album. I have no idea why that could be:
SARAH MICHELLE GELLER AND FREDDIE PRINZE JR.’S COOKING BOOKS
Scooby snacks not included.
When the world feels hopeless, it helps to remember that 90s favourites Sarah Michelle Geller and Freddie Prinze Jr. have been a beacon of loving marriage since 2002. When they break up, everything will die.
But for now, they’re united by a love of healthy “family” cooking which has produced two surprisingly well-reviewed cookbooks: Freddie’s Back To The Kitchen: 75 Delicious, Real Recipes (And True Stories) From A Food-Obsessed Actor and Sarah’s Stirring Up Fun With Food: Over 115 Simple, Delicious Ways To Be Creative In The Kitchen.
Look at ’em go.
Evidently, they also both love really, really long titles. As the podcast Who Weekly? notes though, perhaps there’s tension in the way Sarah goes pass-ag by one-upping Freddie’s book with 40 more recipes. Looks like we’re going to need to do a close reading here.
We could go on forever, but a special shout out goes to singer and culinary school graduate Kelis for her cajun-leaning My Life On A Plate, though points deducted for the lack of a milkshake recipe that brings all the boys to the yard.
Also worth your time is Cooking With Coolio: 5 Star Meals At A One Star Price, based off the rapper’s now defunct cooking show. People are pretty into the cheese-heavy snacks, though Amazon review notes the measurements given “dimebags and nicklebags” are hard to follow because “the constantly changing price of mary jane these days“. Everyone’s a critic.
Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/Getty