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

Robert Cain

Nancy Carroll

Lon Chaney

Charlie Chaplin

Lew Cody

Junior Coghlan

Claudette Colbert

Gary Cooper

Joan Crawford

Bebe Daniels

Marion Davies

Cecil B. DeMille

Carol Dempster

Marlene Dietrich

Richard Dix

Sidney Drew

William Gillette

Lillian Gish

Sam Hardy

William S. Hart

Edward Everett Horton

Harry Houdini

Betty Jewel

Agnes Christine Johnston

Gwen Lee

Harold Lloyd

Jeanie Macpherson

Tim McCoy

Victor McLaglen

Frances Marion

Adolphe Menjou

Violet Mersereau

Pola Negri

Ramon Novarro

George O’Brien

Pat O’Malley

Mary Pickford

Aileen Pringle

Wallace Reid

Irene Rich

Bodil Rosing

Dorothy Sebastian

Pauline Starke

Ford Sterling

Gloria Swanson

Constance Talmadge

Norma Talmadge

Lilyan Tashman

Thelma Todd

Virginia Valli

Lupe Velez

Florence Vidor

Alice White

Claire Windsor

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)

Corned Beef and Cabbage (Lew Cody)

Epicurean Bouchée (Adolphe Menjou)

Pot Roast (Pat O’Malley)

Spanish Chowder (Lupe Velez)

Sweetbreads a la Windsor (Claire Windsor)

Sweetbread and Mushroom Patties (Nancy Carroll)

Toad in the Hole (Richard Dix)

Chicken and Liver Timbales (Gary Cooper)


Baked Clam in Shell (Sam Hardy)

Shrimp Wiggle (Ed Wynn)

Vegetables and Soups

♦ ♥ French Peas with Butter (Carol Dempster)

♦ Fresh Peas on Toast (Alice White)

♦ ♥ Guacamole (Ramon Novarro)

Lentil Soup with Frankfurters (Ford Sterling)

Mushroom Soup (Francis X. Bushman)

♦ ♥ Southern Sweet Potatoes (William Gillette)

♦ Stuffed Summer Squash (William S. Hart)


♦ ♥ Chaplin Nut Salad (Charlie Chaplin)

♦ Coleslaw (Cecil B. DeMille)

♦ ♥ French Banana Salad (Joan Crawford)

♥ Fruit Salad a la Jell (Lilyan Tashman)

♦ ♥ Pineapple Fruit Salad (Aileen Pringle)

♦ ♥ Raw Vegetable Salad (Claudette Colbert)

♦ ♥ Reid Divinity Salad (Wallace Reid)

♦ ♥ Salad a la Philippine (Irene Rich)

Scenario Salad (Agnes Christine Johnston)

Stuffed Tomato Ravigotte (Jeanie Macpherson)

♦ ♥ Tomato Nut Salad (Frances Marion)

♦ ♥ Tomatoes with French Garlic Dressing (Edward Everett Horton)

♦ ♥ 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)

♦ Deviled Eggs (Harry Houdini)

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 Bread (Marlene Dietrich)

♦ ♥ Banana Trifle (Pola Negri)

♦ Berliners (Bodil Rosing)

♦ Chocolate Cookies (Linda Arvidson)

♦ Cream Fudge (Gloria Swanson)

♦ Cream Pie (George O’Brien)

♦ ♥ Fruit Cookies (Junior Coghlan)

♦ ♥ Grape Nut Pudding (Constance Talmadge)

♦ ♥ Jenny Lind Pudding (Mary Brian)

♦ ♥ Peanut Cookies (Sidney Drew)

♦ Raspberry Jam Tarts (Mary Pickford)

♦ ♥ Scripture Cake (Thelma Todd)

♦ ♥ Sherro (William S. Hart)

♦ Southern Gingerbread (Dorothy Sebastian)

♦ ♥ Tea Wafers (Adrian)

♦ ♥ Tapioca Wine Soup (Robert Cain)

Vanilla Marlow (Clara Bow)


The Beverly Bayne Sandwich

The Theda Bara Sandwich

♦ The Lillian Gish Sandwich

The Violet Mersereau Sandwich