We’ve probably all experienced a moment when we’re browsing the bargain bin at our local bookstore and we stumble across a celebrity cookbook that’s so out of left field, its very existence defies explanation (okaaay, “Al Roker’s Big Bad Book of Barbecue”).
While there are some celebrity cookbooks that deserve a spot on your shelf, there are others that provide more in entertainment value than actual culinary know-how. Here are some of our favorite weird and wonderful cookbooks written by famous folks you might not automatically associate with the kitchen (and in some cases, maybe you should—we’re looking at you 2 Chainz).
You probably know Vincent Price as the voice behind the spoken-word sequence at the end of “Thriller.” What you may not know about the legendary horror film star is that he also had his own cooking show in the 1970s called “Cooking Price-Wise,” which inspired the cookbook of the same name. According to the dust-jacket, the book promises to help you “travel round the world with Vincent Price–using your cooker instead of a jet plane” (think: easy to make recipes for Goulash and Moussaka). And because nothing says “children’s birthday party” like Vincent Price, the book also includes instructions on how to use toothpicks and a knife to fashion a jaunty crocodile out of a cucumber. (Check out “A Treasury of Great Recipes, 50th Anniversary Edition: Famous Specialties of the World’s Foremost Restaurants Adapted for the American Kitchen” by Vincent and his wife Mary too, because they were actually bona fide gourmands).Buy Now
“Smash Mouth: Recipes from the Road: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Cookbook” by Steve Harwell, Paul DeLisle and Robert Hayes, price varies on Amazon
This cookbook, which looks like it emerged from the drunken mind of a 1990s frat boy, is a collaboration between “All Star” singer Steve Harwell and a host of celebrity friends, including Sammy Hagar (Van Halen member and owner of Cabo Wabo Cantina); Michael Symon (Iron Chef and owner of Roast Detroit); and Guy Fieri (“Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”), who provides the forward. However, if you’re hoping to find recipes for dishes like Walkin’ On the Sunny-Side Up Eggs or I’m a Believer in Deep Fried Jalapeno Poppers, you’ll be sorely out of luck. The only redeeming quality of this cookbook is that none of the recipes were created by Smash Mouth. If you have an unquenchable thirst for donkey sauce or yearn to recreate Cabo Wabo favorites at home, this cookbook might just be for you.Buy Now
This collection of recipes from everyone’s favorite diva is a parody of the 1994 book by Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef, “In the Kitchen with Rosie: Oprah’s Favorite Recipes.” As Miss Piggy notes in her introduction, “When I was approached to write this cookbook, moi thought: Why not? If Oprah can do it…” What you will find in Miss Piggy’s cookbook: John Travolta’s recipe for Lobster in Three Sauces and advice from Barbara Bush on how to make the perfect “Bologna for a Cocktail Buffet.” What you won’t find: step by step instructions for pulled pork enchiladas or a recipe for cuisses de grenouille à la provençale.Buy Now
In the late aughts, the mid-nineties rapper and self-proclaimed “ghetto Martha Stewart” turned his attention to food with a web series and a catering business. With sections like “Pimpin’ the Poultry” and “It’s Hard Out Here for a Shrimp,” it’s easy to see why this collection of affordable and healthy recipes has consistently high ratings on Amazon. “Cookin’ with Coolio” has everything you look for in a celebrity cookbook: solid culinary advice in the form of “Cool-mandments” (“Thou Shalt Always Practice Proper Presentation”) paired with solid recipes like Chicken Lettuce Blunts (a leafy, protein-rich wrap) and scallops “rap’d” in bacon. Considering Coolio promises “five star meals at a one star price,” this might be the perfect book come tax day.Buy Now
“In the Kitchen with Kris: A Kollection of Kardashian-Jenner Family Favorites” by Kris Jenner, $30.53 on Amazon
Let’s be real. We are hesitant to put much faith in a “kollection” of family recipes authored by a woman whose daughter reportedly spent $10,000 on food delivery last year. Nevermind the fact that the Kardashian women are frequently shown on-screen eating packaged salads, matriarch Kris Jenner promises, “70 favorite recipes that have become the centerpiece of Kardashian-Jenner family traditions,” (ubiquitous disposable plastic bowls not included). With practical advice for table settings (“If I’m cooking an Italian meal, I will grab my red Hermès china to go with the red sauce”) and a questionable “kream” of wheat recipe (read the box for instructions and add sugar), it’s no surprise that 45 percent of reviewers on Amazon gave “In the Kitchen with Kris” one star.Buy Now
While technically not a standalone cookbook, #MealTime is a 28 page booklet included with the rapper’s sophomore studio album, “B.O.A.T.S. II: #METIME.” While the cookbook’s disclaimer (“Use of these recipes is at your own risk. Universal Music Group is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe”) is enough to make even the bravest foodie nervous, #MealTime is legit good. The hip hop star collaborated with Chef Aleem to curate a collection of 15 recipes that include dishes like Pan-Seared Sea Bass with Heirloom Tomato Salsa and Sautéed Asparagus and Chicken Marsala. But it’s 2 Chainz cooking instructions that warrant him a place on this list. Thinking of making the Crab Cakes with Mango Salsa? 2 Chainz suggests you “position yourself in a room surrounded by a handful of TVs playing ‘Sportscenter’ with the sound off.” Hey, whatever works.Buy Now
“Ted Nugent’s Kill It & Grill It: A Guide to Cooking Wild Fish and Game” by Ted Nugent and Shemane Nugent, $17.25 on Amazon
In “Kill It and Grill It,” rocker Ted Nugent and his wife Shemane promise to help you put a “stranglehold” on exotic fare such as wild boar, pheasant, buffalo, and venison. Along with plenty of hunting anecdotes and tips (step one: “kill something!”), you’ll also find recipes for Sweet ‘n’ Sour Antelope and Pheasant Chow Mein. However, the real showstopper is the Venison Coca-Cola Stew; a slow cooker confection that includes two cans of Coca-Cola, carrots, and a jar of chutney. Matching his and hers denim vests sold separately.Buy Now
Can’t get enough cookbooks? Check out some of our favorite classic women-authored cookbooks, plus some more contemporary options that deserve a spot in history.
Header image courtesy of Amazon.