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CELBRITY COOKBOOK (article first published : 2002-01-4)

Edited by Chris Wright and illustrated by Tony Grogan, Celebrity Cookbook has been published by Grahamstown Hospice as a fundraising project. Originally designed as a purely Grahamstown endeavour, it grew in stature when the Spar supermarket chain offered to distribute the book through their outlets nationwide.

An importer and distributor of products to galleries and picture framers, Chris Wright has written booklets and published numerous articles in trade magazines. Tony Grogan is an accomplished satirical artist and book illustrator. He is a regular contributor to the Cape Times and Sunday Independent. Because of its Grahamstown origins, the book has a distinct Eastern Cape flavour. Celebrities from all walks of life were asked to provide a favourite recipe together with an appropriate matching anecdote.

Evita Bezuidenhout – described as a “mega supa star and charismatic chef” has included a number of her recipes which she claims she has produced for world-famous luminaries. These include Milk Tart (Margaret Thatcher), Pickled Fish (Mikhale Gorbachov) and Waterblommetjie Bredie (Prince Charles) – even Nelson Mandela’s favourite ginger beer.

There’s Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s Chaka Chaka’s Chakalaka; Pam Golding’s Herb & Sesame Seed Fried Chicken; Patricia de Lille’s Afriki Yakhni; Reg Lascaris’s Mediterranean Style Pork Chops; Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s Sorgum and Mealies with Yoghurt, and Breyton Paulse’s Penne Pasta with Bacon & Broccoli, to name a few.

The late Guy Butler is featured - offering Roy Campbell’s recipe for bobotie given to him by the poet himself and declared “the best bobotie I have ever tasted” by Sir Lauren van der Post. There’s Denis Beckett’s three-page amusing eulogy on the merits of breakfast and David Bullard’s recommendation that Italian opera should always be played loudly while preparing Italian food.

Dave Callaghan, who has had his own battle with cancer, gives his Supper Surprise and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, now the patron of the Hospice Association of South Africa includes his Tutu Chicken.

Apart from being a bona fide cookbook, Celebrity Cookbook contains a certain amount of levity, notably Guy Willoughby’s Fillet of Eland or how to cope with an eland when it drowns in your salt-water swimming pool!

Celebrity Cookbook is an A5 sized soft cover publication but the good quality paper is glossy so that it can easily be cleaned if it gets spattered while in use. Look out for it at your local Spar supermarket. It’s a very reasonable R39.99 and at least R20 of this goes towards Hospice funds. – Cherry MacIldowie




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