"You should never judge a book by its cover." After reading the book, Lobster for Leos, Cookies for Capricorns by Sabra Ricci, I was reminded once again of the wisdom behind this age old advice. This book looks more like a paperback novel than a cookbook by a celebrity chef. And who combines astrology with cooking anyway? Sabra Ricci has done just that by drawing upon her life long interests in astrology and the culinary arts.
In this book, she has selected 8 super foods per astrological sign to support the health of the part of the body ruled by that sign. For example, the heart is ruled by Leo. In her chapter on Leos, Ricci includes recipes that feature heart healthy foods such as almonds, ahi, lobster, black beans, opakapaka, saffron, papaya, and tomatoes.
Sabra Ricci traces her love for food and astrology back to Sunday family breakfasts at her grandparents' house in Sacramento, California. Her grandfather was a big fan of the Galloping Gourmet TV program and would constantly try new dishes out for the family on Sundays. Then he would break out the Sunday paper and read everyone's horoscopes. With these early influences, Ricci went on to do extensive research in astrology and also graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. She completed her externship at Napa Valley’s legendary Tra Vigne restaurant, working for founding chef Michael Chiarello. She then worked in Paris for Yes Catering Company whose events included parties for Michael Jackson, the Paris Polo Club and Lancôme, and lunches at the Louvre. Ricci now lives in Maui and regularly cooks for some of Hollywood's biggest celebrities. Here are some of their quotes:
"A truly talented chef and an amazing and inspiring person. So glad our planets crossed!" - Orlando Bloom
"Sabra, thank you for spoiling us. Every bite was a new experience." - Julia Roberts and her husband, Danny Moder
"Sabra is an alchemist. She cares deeply about everything she creates and lives in service to all of us - breakfast, lunch, and dinner." - Jim Carrey
As we mentioned earlier, this book does not look like a typical cookbook. There are no mouth-watering photos and the book itself is quite small. What is included, however, is a collection of over 100 easy, delicious recipes. We tried the Chicken Katsu, the Chocolate-Rum Pot de Créme, and the Wild Mushroom Risotto. Each of these recipes was easy and took very little time to prepare. The Wild Mushroom Risotto was rich and creamy and should indeed be considered "comfort food" as the author contends. The Chicken Katsu had a crispy texture on the outside and was moist and tender on the inside. The Asian inspired dipping sauce was a great combination with this dish. The Chocolate - Rum Pot de Créme was an excellent dessert combining rich chocolate with a hint of dark rum topped with whipped creme made from scratch. We give this book 5 stars out of 5. It has a solid collection of recipes that you can obtain for under 10 smackers $US.