In a dusty postcard and stamp collectors’ shop in Norwich a weird and wonderful recipe book once nestled in a glass topped display case.
Full of wonderful photographs of film stars wearing aprons and chefs hats, wielding wooden spoons and posting beside ovens, it’s an absolute peach. I bought it for £12, loved it and decided there and then to start eating like the stars.
Thus began my obsession with collecting film star recipes and I now have over 4,000 dishes recommended by my Hollywood idols and am gradually cooking my way through them. Favourites so far include Marlene Dietrich’s Lamb Chops en Casserole, Vincent Price’s Chicken in Vermouth and Ida Lupino’s Lemon Mousse.
In 2006 I began blogging about my adventures in cooking the signature dishes of my heroes and heroines. Recording the fun I had sharing these dishes with friends and encouraging others to try their hand at them too. At that time I was living on a houseboat on the Thames with a table top cooker that had to be turned on with a pair of pliers.
Now I’m a landlubber, hosting regular Silver Screen Sunday parties where I make movie related grand feasts for my friends and we settle down to a movie afterwards to sleep them off.
In the early days of the project my darling fellow film archivist Caroline Frick was cooking up the stars’ favourites too – far away in Austin in the fierce heat of the Texan sun. Juggling serious film archiving jobs and a beautiful baby boy has somewhat interfered with her cooking time alas, but we are hoping she’ll be back in her pinny soon.
I’ve made some wonderful friends through cyberspace and some lovely people in the blogosphere have written about the Silver Screen Project:
I have had articles about film star recipes published in Vintage Life magazine, the Vegetarian Society Magazine, The Guild of Food Writers Treasury and Queens of Vintage – here’s one about what film stars liked to have in their sandwiches…
I give illustrated presentations about film stars and their favourite recipes with film clips, recipe books to show and sometimes film star canapés…
There is a book in the offing – 52 recipes with short sassy biographies of each star and film recommendations for what to watch with your film star dish. Interested in publishing it? Please get in touch – it’s just about ready to go!
If you’d like to follow my adventures in cooking like the stars you can subscribe via email (top right of this page – just pop your email address in the box) or you can register for my monthly newsletter.
If you’d like to get your hands on some of the recipes please check out the test cooking page.
In what little spare time I have left I’m also a wind-up gramophone DJ with The Shellac Sisters.
During the Vincent Price Vincentennial I carried out a project to cook one Vincent Price recipe per week and you can read about that here. Man, Vincent was one hellova cook!
I love hearing from readers of the blog so please do get in touch if you have any questions, recipes to share, comments to make or just want to say hi. It may take me a while to get back to you (I have a full time job as a film archivist with the Associated Press so Silver Screen Suppers is squeezed into my spare time) but I promise I will reply eventually…
Have fun sprinkling some stardust around your kitchen!