Cooking with the (Silent) Stars: A Modern Look at Photoplay’s Cook Book

Greetings! I am cooking my way through Photoplay’s 1929 cookbook and you are invited to tag along! The recipes are ostensibly from the personal kitchens of some of the biggest actors, writers and directors of the silent era.

This project is not about creating historical replicas. Rather, it is about seeing if a modern cook with ordinary ingredients can jump into this unusual recipe collection and emerge with something delicious. As a result, I will be making minor substitutions when the original ingredient is unavailable.

Bon appetit!

Recipes by Star/Talent

In order of surname.


Linda Arvidson

Theda Bara

Beverly Bayne

Clara Bow

Mary Brian

Betty Bronson

Francis X. Bushman

Lon Chaney

Claudette Colbert

Joan Crawford

Bebe Daniels

Marion Davies

Carol Dempster

Richard Dix

Sidney Drew

William Gillette

Lillian Gish

Sam Hardy

William S. Hart

Betty Jewel

Agnes Christine Johnston

Gwen Lee

Harold Lloyd

Jeanie Macpherson

Tim McCoy

Victor McLaglen

Frances Marion

Adolphe Menjou

Pola Negri

George O’Brien

Mary Pickford

Wallace Reid

Bodil Rosing

Dorothy Sebastian

Pauline Starke

Ford Sterling

Gloria Swanson

Constance Talmadge

Norma Talmadge

Thelma Todd

Virginia Valli

Lupe Velez

Florence Vidor

Alice White

Anna May Wong

Ed Wynn

Recipes by Score

My scores, 1=horrid and 5=bliss!

1 Star Recipes

2 Star Recipes

3 Star Recipes

4 Star Recipes

5 Star Recipes

Recipes by Type

I used the original categories from the cookbook. While many recipes are vegetarian, very few are vegan as-is. I will mark the recipes that are either vegan or can be converted to vegan with a few simple substitutions.

♦ = Vegetarian (eggs and dairy)

♥ = Vegan or vegan-friendly (can be made vegan with two or three small substitutions)


Baked Lamb Chops (Bebe Daniels)

Chili Con Carne (Victor McLaglen)

Epicurean Bouchée (Adolphe Menjou)

Spanish Chowder (Lupe Velez)

Toad in the Hole (Richard Dix)


Baked Clam in Shell (Sam Hardy)

Shrimp Wiggle (Ed Wynn)

Vegetables and Soups

♦ Stuffed Summer Squash (William S. Hart)

♦ ♥ French Peas with Butter (Carol Dempster)

♦ Fresh Peas on Toast (Alice White)

♦ ♥ Mushroom Soup (Francis X. Bushman)

♦ ♥ Southern Sweet Potatoes (William Gillette)

Lentil Soup with Frankfurters (Ford Sterling)


♦ ♥ Raw Vegetable Salad (Claudette Colbert)

♦ ♥ French Banana Salad (Joan Crawford)

♦ ♥ Reid Divinity Salad (Wallace Reid)

Scenario Salad (Agnes Christine Johnston)

Stuffed Tomato Ravigotte (Jeanie Macpherson)

♦ ♥ Tomato Nut Salad (Frances Marion)

♦ ♥ Vegetable Salad (Norma Talmadge)

Hot Bread, Fixings, etc.

♦ Cheese Straws (Florence Vidor)

♦ ♥ Peach Shortcake Tampa (Marion Davies)

Potato Biscuits (Lon Chaney)

♦ Rye Griddle Cakes (Tim McCoy)

♦ Waffles (Betty Bronson)

Egg and Cheese

♦ Cheese Patties (Marion Davies)

Egg Foo Yung (Anna May Wong)

♦ Eggs Dolores (Harold Lloyd)

♦ Eggs Suzette (Betty Jewel)

Eggs with Pate de Foie Gras (Virginia Valli)

♦ Pepper Eggs (Pauline Starke)

♦ Potato Omelet (Gwen Lee)

Candy and Desserts

♦ ♥ Banana Trifle (Pola Negri)

♦ Berliners (Bodil Rosing)

♦ Chocolate Cookies (Linda Arvidson)

♦ Cream Fudge (Gloria Swanson)

♦ Cream Pie (George O’Brien)

♦ ♥ Grape Nut Pudding (Constance Talmadge)

♦ ♥ Jenny Lind Pudding (Mary Brian)

♦ ♥ Peanut Cookies (Sidney Drew)

♦ Raspberry Jam Tarts (Mary Pickford)

♦ ♥ Scripture Cake (Thelma Todd)

♦ Southern Gingerbread (Dorothy Sebastian)

♦ ♥ Tea Wafers (Adrian)

Vanilla Marlow (Clara Bow)


The Beverly Bayne Sandwich

The Theda Bara Sandwich

♦ The Lillian Gish Sandwich

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