Whatever the reason, plenty of celebrities have released cookbooks, and some of them really shouldn’t have.
Weatherman Al Roker has actually published a handful of books, including a few murder mysteries and memoirs. But he’s also published two cookbooks, Al Roker’s Big Bad Book of Barbecue and Al Roker’s Hassle-Free Holiday Cookbook. The barbecue book, published in 2002, contains 100 recipes and covers all the grilling basics, and the holiday book, published the following year, contains recipes ranging from “sweet potato poon” to crown pork roast with fruit stuffing. We’re particularly intrigued by his recipe for “Groundhog Day Weatherman’s Meal,” whatever that may be.
Apparently none other than the Karma Chameleon himself, Boy George, is a fan of macrobiotic cuisine, so much so that in 2001 he published a cookbook with the help of his “macrobiotic mentor,” Dragana Brown, called Karma Cookbook: Great Tasting Dishes to Nourish Your Body and Feed Your Soul. “Among the delights are Creamy Carrot Soup, Sizzling Soba, Crunchy Filo Parcels, Watercress and Shiitake Salad, and Apricots with Vanilla Custard,” the description reads. Sadly, it’s out of print.
If the name Dawn Wells doesn’t ring a bell, her most famous character will: Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island. In 1993 the actress published Mary Ann’s Gilligan’s Island Cookbook, full of tropical-inspired recipes that she developed over the years (including Castaway Casserole and Ginger’s Snaps) as well as ones contributed by fellow cast members and a smattering of memories and anecdotes. A must-have for anyone who’s way too obsessed with Gilligan’s Island.
This reality TV star has published several books in a continued attempt to cash in on having eight children, and in 2013 she even published a cookbook called Love Is in the Mix, which “shares the Gosselin family's favorite recipes for every day and entertaining, a very important ingredient when creating special family time,” whatever that means. Apparently those family favorites include items like pizza meatballs, something called K8 Salad, sausage bean bake, buffalo pretzels, and “edible dough for play.”
If you’d prefer to eat like a Kardashian instead of a Gosselin, then head over to In the Kitchen with Kris: A Kollection [sic] of Kardashian-Jenner Family Favorites, written by none other than “America’s favorite momager” herself and published in October 2014. It contains “nearly 70 favorite recipes that have become the centerpiece of Kardashian-Jenner family traditions” as well as tone-deaf gems like “My children all know how obsessed I am with table settings and I’ve received several sets of Hermès dishes from my daughters. Table settings. Napkins and napkin rings. Baccarat crystal glasses and vases. Candles and candle holders. I’m obsessed with it all.” Forty-six out of the 77 Amazon reviewers gave it one star.
In 2012, the Grease star published a cookbook called Livwise: Easy Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Life. “Assembled using Olivia's own experience in the kitchen and with the help of nutritionists, friends, and chefs from Gaia, her Australian health retreat and spa,” she’s compiled a collection of healthy recipes, from chickpea patties and carrot salad to trout with cauliflower puree. It’s been a while since we heard anything from Newton-John, and we certainly didn’t expect her to stage a comeback-via-cookbook.
More a promotional pamphlet than cookbook, the Ron Paul Family Cookbook is full of Paul family recipes that must date back more than 50 years, including cholesterol bombs like Oreo cake and shrimp casserole. Aside from some very interesting comment threads, all this book seems to be good for is a bad case of heartburn.
Yes, Sheryl Crow wrote a cookbook, and yes, she named it after one of her songs. If It Makes You Healthy, published in 2011, is actually a collection of recipes (categorized by season) developed by her personal chef, Chuck White, and, needless to say, they’re all pretty healthy. The book includes recipes served to her crew on the road, like mojito-braised pork, as well as home-cooked ones like basil and apple-marinated chicken, and can maybe also serve as a guidebook for personal chefs to the rich and famous.
Remember Smash Mouth? That 90s band with hits like “All Star” and “Walkin’ on the Sun”? For some reason, they decided to write a nearly 400-page cookbook, Recipes from the Road: A Rock 'n' Roll Cookbook, full of their own recipes as well as guest recipes from folks like rocker Sammy Hagar and Guy Fieri (of course). If you’re like us and didn’t even know that this band still existed, well, the band that cooks together stays together, apparently.
Real Housewives star Teresa Guidice has actually published four cookbooks, Skinny Italian: Eat It and Enjoy It, Fabulicious!: Teresa's Italian Family Cookbook, Fabulicious!: Fast & Fit, and Fabulicious!: On the Grill.
If you’re into the Real Housewives these books will most likely help fuel your obsession, but if you want to master Italian cooking you’d be much better off buying a cookbook by an actual chef, like Lidia Bastianich.
Tony Danza has done everything from hosting his own talk show and starring on Broadway to teaching English class on a reality show, so it makes sense that he’d throw a cookbook into the mix. Published in 2008, Don't Fill Up on the Antipasto: Tony Danza's Father-Son Cookbook is as much of a tour of the Danza family as it is their recipes, which include Uncle John's Pasta with Prosciutto Sauce, Mother's Lasagna, and “a fabulous tomato sauce that's fast, easy, and sure to help you impress the ladies.” If you’re interested in learning the names of all of Tony Danza’s cousins, this book’s for you.