I've always had a hard time keeping track of celebrity chefs. While I know some of the classic folks, such as Julia Child and the Frugal Gourmet, the sheer number of cooking shows and the accompanying cookbooks by all those "names" can be overwhelming at times. I've been socially chastised for not having a firm handle on Anthony Bourdain's ouvre, and I must confess that until recently, I thought the Barefoot Contessa and Nigella Lawson were the same person.
So I won't be discussing the "celebrity chefs" that you expect. Instead, I'd like to share some amazing titles that are in our cookbook collection, by a different type of celebrity. These books are all written by fictional characters!
Have you already plowed through all of Rachael Ray's suggestions, and you need some new ideas? Why not try In the Kitchen with Miss Piggy? She shares recipes from some very real friends, but can't resist including the instructions for Kermit's Favorite Grasshopper Pie. Thankfully, the recipe is adapted for humans, so no real grasshoppers are in the ingredients list.
Do your Italian dishes need a different sort of zing? There's the Soprano's Family Cookbook, with recipes gauged for large family gatherings, and a handy glossary of Italian-American food speak. Among the traditional favorites, their Ziti al Forno, or baked ziti with little meatballs, puts a tasty twist on a standard dish.
If you need basic comfort foods or something easy, Cooking with FRIENDS (yes, the Rachel-and-Ross-type Friends) will help you whip something up with no shortage of helpful hints and plenty of laughs. It includes a handy checklist of pantry essentials, so it's perfect for a novice cook. The Coney Island Egg Cream would be perfect on a hot afternoon, and there's a chapter on Vegetarian Delights for meat-free ideas.
Once I started looking for such "celebrity" books, they seemed to keep multiplying in number. It would be difficult to list them all and include what makes each and every one so special. However, it's easy to pick out my favorite: Alice's Brady Bunch Cookbook. My love of this book is obviously shared by others, as it's circulated so many times that it's currently falling apart and may not last another checkout for your dinner party. So if you don't get a chance to see this one, I'll answer the question I know you have: Yes, there's a recipe for Pork Chops (and Apple Sauce). It includes vermouth, so it's not something that you'd entrust a Cindy or Bobby to make.
Here are some more "celebrity" cookbooks on our new catalog. Try them out to spice up your dishes!