By Jackie Collins
St. Martin’s Press, $27.99, 162 pages
I am always weary leery reviewing cookbooks and food books by celebrities – at best, they are mostly mediocre. Thankfully, Jackie Collins’ The Lucky Santangelo Cookbook rises above. The bestselling fiction author successfully wrote a very good cookbook, though not for the average home cook. The recipes are innovative, well laid out on single or facing pages in a beautifully produced book. This is an unusual cookbook as both the author and her fictional heroin, Lucky Santangelo, alternately talk to us. Lucky’s comments are in short paragraphs as quotations from one of Collins’ fictions, referring to the recipe on that page. The excellent head notes are Collins’, and both are fun to read.
“Jackie has always been an avid cook, and loves all kinds of food, especially the Italian dishes, and especially Lucky’s homegrown recipes.”
The recipes are very good (developed and tested professionally), well written, easy to follow but they are mostly sophisticated, written for accomplished cooks, particularly the swingers, clubbers, and party-goers. Many of the ingredients will require access to a well-stocked market. Collins (or Lucky) even suggests the music to go with each recipe. The book has two sets of illustrations: professional food photography and many color sketches of Lucky herself. Fans of Collins will enjoy this cookbook, especially if they love cooking. The index is well cross-referenced.
Reviewed by George Erdosh