With menus being planned for this holiday season, a few celebrity-driven cookbooks have been released to brighten up your table. Nothing represents this more than the new Axios Books edition of “The Edna Lewis Cookbook,” marking the 100th anniversary of the James Beard award-winning chef’s birth.
Like many of the matriarchs who prepared meals in our households, Miss Lewis’ down-home recipes may use no more than five ingredients but you can just sense the flavorful bounty awaiting. This compilation is broken down by seasons including a special Christmas section for that coconut layer cake.
After a successful venture into children’s books with the acclaimed “I Love You Too,” comes “Ziggy Marley and Family Cookbook” (Akashic) featuring both traditional Jamaican food and the more natural and healthy “ital” food of the family’s Rastafari culture. The recipes for Jerk Chicken and Rice and Peas are legit and there is an impressive chapter on smoothies.
Food Network star Ayesha Curry merges the flavors from her Toronto childhood with southern dishes her NBA star hubby Steph Curry loves in “The Seasoned Life” (Little, Brown & Company). Irresistible dishes such as Proscuitto Egg Cups with Asparagus, Sticky Honey-Garlic Baby Back Ribs and Soy-Citrus Salmon are standouts.
In “The Red Rooster Cookbook” (Rux Martin), chef Marcus Samuelsson ambitiously tells the story of food and hustle in Harlem, home of his famed emporium. This essential breaks down the ingredients in the pantry, prep techniques, a music playlist to cook by and a little history to boot. Loved the detailed chapter on his stint cooking at the White House and dishes like his Brown Butter Biscuits, Chicken and Waffles and Jerk Bacon and Baked Beans.
It should also be noted that black activism is at the forefront of several worthy releases. Highly recommended are the graphically sturdy “Power To The People: The World of The Black Panthers” (Abrams) by Stephen Shames and one of the group’s founders Bobby Seale; “Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond” (Atria) by Marc Lamont Hill; and “They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement” (Little, Brown) by Wesley Lowery.
WHAT THE HALL: Tupac Shakur, along with Pearl Jam, Joan Baez, Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, and Yes will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 7 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
Meanwhile, Nile Rodgers called it ‘bittersweet” when he was singled out from his group Chic to receive an Award for Musical Excellence (which is not selected by the voters).
Said the guitarist to Rolling Stone: “In two short years we never put out a single that wasn’t gold or platinum or in the case of “Le Freak,” triple platinum. In the case of “I Want Your Love,” double platinum. We basically invented Sister Sledge and re-tooled Diana Ross‘ career, giving her the biggest album of her life. I say to myself, how did I get plucked out of my band and told I’m cooler than Bernard Edwards and Tony Thompson?
“Don’t get me wrong,” he continued. “I am flattered and I think it’s cool. But you understand: I feel like somebody put me in the lifeboat and told my family they can’t get in.”
LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL: The aforementioned Miss Ross, Mary J. Blige, John Legend and Chaka Khan have been announced as headliners for the 2017 Essence Music Festival to be held June 30–July 3 in New Orleans. Also slated are India Arie, Solange, Michel’le, Jasmine Sullivan, Sir The Baptist, Tweet, Lalah Hathaway, Ro James, Shaggy and Teyana Taylor with more to come.
CLIPPETTES: Funk-rock pioneer Sly Stone, jazz giants Nina Simone and Ahmad Jamal, gospel icon Shirley Caesar and country singer Charley Pride are among the artists who will be awarded the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2017 from the Grammys committee …
Fishbone presents a “Crazy Glue XXX-Mas” on Dec. 23 at the Roxy with special guest Chali 2NA & The House of Vibe …
The Novo has a hot date on Dec. 28 as George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic teams with the inspired Thundercat.
COME TOGETHER: Cheryl Burke (“Dancing with the Stars”) and Brian White (“Scandal,” “Chicago Fire”) are set to host the 57th annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration, the largest free multicultural holiday celebration in the country on Dec. 24 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The program will be broadcast live (with repeats on Dec. 24 at 9 p.m. and on Christmas Day at noon) on PBS SoCal KOCE or online at pbssocal.org. For complete program information, call (213) 972-3099 or go to HolidayCelebration.org.
TASTY QUIP: ““Whenever I go out and do press, all the women are like Hollywood this and that. That’s cool but I got that during ‘Ray Donovan.’” – OMAR J. DORSEY (“Queen Sugar”) to Tasty Clips
TC ON TV: Dec. 23 – “A Home For The Holidays” (CBS): Miranda Lambert, Alessia Cara and others perform on this moving annual special featuring inspirational stories about children adopted from foster care. “The Tonight Show” (NBC): R Kelly
Dec. 26 – “Independent Lens” (PBS): “Meet the Patels”
Dec. 27 – “The 39th Annual Kennedy Center Honors” (CBS): Mavis Staples, James Taylor, Al Pacino, Argentine pianist Martha Argerich, and The Eagles.
Dec. 29 – “Balls Deep” (Viceland): “Mr. Banks Goes to Washington” with Michelle Obama
TASTY QUIP: “I’m particular about my energy and I’m protective of my heart, not just with men, but also with friends who seek to do more harm than good in our relationships. I’m a lot like my mother in this regard; we’re great at maintaining friendships, but when their shelf life expires, we have no problem tossing those expired friendships in the trash where they belong. But what’s more, I’m no longer bothered or afraid to spend time solely with myself.” – TARAJI P. HENSON from “Around The Way Girl” (37Ink/Atria) with Denene Millner
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment newspaper columns on the West Coast, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @tastyclips.