When we think of the rich and famous, we imagine they enjoy all the perks that come with being a celebrity. Having a personal chef certainly tops the list, but some stars love getting busy in the kitchen with their own hands.
So why not take some cooking inspiration from your favorite celebrities and whip up one of their recipes for your next meal? To get you started, we rounded up the best celebrity cookbooks out there.
‘Back to the Kitchen’ by Freddie Prinze Jr.
The ’90s heartthrob was raised in New Mexico by his mom on home-cooked meals inspired by his Puerto Rican heritage.
In "Back to the Kitchen" the “She’s All That” star shares those dishes, and many more, including tacos and New Mexico-style spicy eggs.
‘The Clean Plate’ by Gwyneth Paltrow
Academy Award winner Gwyneth Paltrow has turned being a lifestyle guru into quite the business. The Goop founder has always been known for being the cheerleader of clean, healthy eating.
Her cookbook "The Clean Plate" takes a deep dive on the topic as she shares more than 100 recipes that heal the body.
‘Cravings’ by Chrissy Teigen
Chrissy Teigen is almost as famous for being a foodie as a model, so it’s no surprise her tome "Cravings" is one of the best celebrity cookbooks out there.
It’s chock-full of recipes for every occasion, from family dinners to date nights to parties.
‘From Crook to Cook’ by Snoop Dogg
If you’ve ever wondered what Snoop Dogg eats when he gets the munchies, now you’ll finally know. Plus, he has probably picked up a culinary tip or two from his friend Martha Stewart.
Snoop Dogg’s first cookbook, "From Crook to Cook," is just as fun as you’d expect. Its 50 recipes cover soul food classics like baked mac & cheese as well as his spin on classics like soft flour tacos and easy orange chicken.
‘The Kind Diet’ by Alicia Silverstone
If you’re a vegan or just trying to cut down on meat, "The Kind Diet" is the best celebrity cookbook for you.
“Clueless” actress, activist and conservationist Alicia Silverstone shares how to make an easy transition to a vegan diet with plenty of advice and recipes. She shares all the health perks of a plant-based diet, such as easy digestion and clearer skin.
There’s advice on how to get all the nutrients you need sans meat, fish or dairy.
‘Stirring Up Fun with Food’ by Sarah Michelle Gellar
In "Stirring Up Fun with Food," “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star Sarah Michelle Gellar shares more than 100 food-crafting ideas that you and your kids will have a blast making — think brownies on a stick.
The book is organized by month and has ideas for every holiday and occasion, including Valentine’s Day, Shark Week, Halloween and “Star Wars” Day.
‘True Roots’ by Kristin Cavallari
Health-conscious cooks will love that this one ticks off all the boxes since every single recipe doesn’t have a trace of gluten, dairy or refined sugar. Even better, cooking that way can be easy.
That’s one of the reasons Kristin Cavallari's “True Roots” was propelled to the top of the best-seller list. The former star of “The Hills” will leave you with a happy tummy with recipes like zucchini almond butter blondies and rose sangria.
‘The Tucci Table’ by Stanley Tucci
During quarantine, Stanley Tucci’s cocktail recipes won the internet, reminding us that his gifts extend beyond the screen.
His second cookbook "The Tucci Table" focuses on his family’s traditional Italian dishes as well as his British wife’s, Felicity Blunt, all with an American twist. Think pasta alla bottarga, mushroom-stuffed trout and pork chops with onions and mustard sauce, to name a few.
‘Whiskey in a Teacup’ by Reese Witherspoon
It’s hard to imagine that Reese Witherspoon is bad at anything, and that goes for cooking, too. Her best-selling cookbook "Whiskey in a Teacup" is oozing with Southern charm, just like she is.
Sure it has recipes — including how to make the perfect cheddar biscuits as well as fried chicken — but it offers so much more, including her musings on southern hospitality, with tips on how to entertain, decorate and even apply hot rollers to your hair.
Slow cookers and other 2020 food trends
BACK TO BASICS
A year ago, Williams says, many foodies were aspirational in their diets. Less so now.
As Darren Seifer, a food and beverage industry analyst for the NPD Group in Chicago, puts it, consumers aren't looking to explore new and fancy. Most "are just trying to get by."
Under all sorts of pressure, people are juggling a desire for comfort food with the need to find a healthy diet and avoid "stress eating," he says.
"If you are a food and beverage manufacturer, you need to be thinking about convenience and comfort right now," Seifer says.
That leads to some contradictory trends. Home cooks are doing more with vegetables, particularly seasonal produce, while also hunkering down with indulgent sweets and treats. Seifer cites higher sales of both vegetables and ice cream in May 2020, compared to the previous May.
TAKING IT EASY
Seifer and Williams also see a trend towards shortcut products, like refrigerated dough, frozen pizza crusts and pancake mixes.
Carli Baum of New York City describes a morning routine that echoes this trend; she has been baking refrigerated biscuits or crescent rolls for her young kids, but pairing them with homemade eggs and fresh berries. She is happy to make breakfast, but doesn't want "to make EVERYTHING from scratch."
Baum has been going to more farmers' markets this summer and leaning into the idea of cooking what is available. She says her kids seem to be more open to trying produce they have seen displayed and purchased at the markets.
STRETCHING THOSE COOKING SKILLS
Another trend cited by Williams: more recipe searches than before for authentic ethnic foods, such as Asian, Mexican and Soul Food.
"People are traveling with their taste buds, recreating dishes they ate out but now have to cook instead," she says. "Also, these dishes connect us with relatives we can't be with right now."
And don't forget today's fascination with what Williams calls "self-reliance" cooking — things like homemade bread, homemade pasta, homemade yogurt and an interest in canning. These more labor-intensive foods provide a way to keep busy, learn something new, save money and eat well, she says.
In homes where adults are working from home and kids have shorter school days, the dinner hour may well start an hour earlier this fall, Williams predicts.
"The family meal is back – and it's happening across all three meals. Home is the epicenter of all activity, and meals are a big part of that," she says.
Searches for family-friendly recipes on Allrecipes are up 34% from last year. Searches for breakfast recipes are up 35%, and lunch up 45% in page views. "We are making many more meals for 'we' rather than 'me,'" Williams says.
Other trends include simpler recipes, recipes with fewer ingredients, one-pot meals, sheet-pan meals, finger food and pantry-ingredient recipes. Vegan and vegetarian cooking is on the rise, she says. Tofu and tempeh searches, which have declined in recent years, are now increasing; grilled tofu was a popular search on Allrecipes this summer.
Homemade pizza "is going crazy — family pleasing, creative and fun, a good alternative to takeout,'' says Williams. "People have become more comfortable with yeast, and people are also buying pizza ovens."
So, which appliances are riding these new waves? Multicooker sales are up, as are recipe searches for Instant Pot recipes (68% higher than this time last year on Allrecipes.com). Air fryers and slow cookers are popular.
And sales of bread makers were up 800 percent in April compared with the previous April, Seifer said.
As for restaurant takeout, digital ordering is growing quickly. Seifer says pre-pandemic digital ordering (online or via apps) made up 6% of orders; now it's double that.
Another trend is QR code menus that you pull up on your phone, as opposed to paper menus. Using a QR code and a phone for payment eliminates the need for handling credit cards and cash.