Cookbooks of the Stars: Teresa Giudice's 'Fabulicious'
Ben Fink In this series, we review celebrity cookbooks -- not "chef" celebrities, but the stars of the silver and small screens. This time we're reviewing Fabulicious: Teresa's Italian Family Cookbook by Teresa Giudice.
Before you question your fearless KitchenDaily editors, let us just say: we know what the word "celebrity" means, ok? Some people are famous, and others are infamous; in the latter way, Teresa Giudice is a superstar. Arguably the most volatile, entertaining character on Bravo's The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Giudice stars on one of the multiple reality shows that celebrate the worst of Italian-American stereotypes. (At least she's actually Italian, unlike Jersey Shore's Snooki.) And Italians, if you haven't been paying attention, can cook. Each and every one of them. Hence, Giudice's second cookbook, Fabulicious: Teresa's Italian Family Cookbook.
First, we will give credit where it's due: a lot of the dishes in this book look tasty, though not inventive -- the food photography makes a convincing case. And Giudice extols the virtues of real food, insisting one should never cook with chemical-laden margarine instead of butter or eat at the Olive Garden because of its huge portions and not-even-close-to-authentic menu items. As food editors, we can get behind these sentiments.
The questionable parts of the cookbook don't have to do with the recipes so much as the bizarre, sometimes aggressive statements sprinkled throughout. And the gratuitous shots of Giudice's daughters in multiple sets of matching outfits are kind of weird, too. We get it -- Italians value family. Above all else!
Here are a few highlights from the book ...
Most Random Author Quote: "My mama and papa still come over to my house almost every day (and no, contrary to Internet rumors, they do not live with me, and they do not live in my basement -- my house doesn't even have a basement!)."
Biggest Dis: "French bread is good, but it's long, thin, and crusty (like a lot of the 'Housewives' I know)." Appetizing.
Best recipe name: "Sexy Chick Eggless Pasta"
Most Modest Moment: "If you bought my first, unbelievably successful New York Times bestselling cookbook Skinny Italian, grazie, grazie, grazie from the bottom of my heart."
Recipes Our Editors Most Want to Make: Cavatelli with Red Sauce and Ricotta, Devil Shrimp with Angel Hair Pasta
Overall Rating: (1-5): 3.
The recipes appear to be edible and the quotes are good for a laugh -- this book would possibly make a good gag gift. But if you're actually looking for a solid Italian food primer, there are dozens -- maybe even hundreds -- of better options.