Cookin' with Coolio
Cookin' with Coolio: Five Stars Meals at a 1 Star Price
Atria, 224 pages, 2009
My score of the day at the Baltimore Book Festival was this cookbook ($5 at the Daedalus Books booth!) by rapper-turned-"ghetto gourmet" Coolio. And yes, I was sold by the cover, where Coolio's manning his combo stovetop burner/turntable (where can I get one? Home Depot? Soundscape?). How can you resist a book that starts off, "I can take a cow out of Compton and make it taste better than Kobe beef at your favorite steakhouse...I'm the ghetto Martha Stewart, the black Rachel Ray. I am the kitchen pimp who won't hesitate to fillet Bobby Flay or send my posse after Emeril Lagasse."
Coolio continues: "Let me be clear, I have seen the burning bush and I have spent forty days and nights preparing to guide you on your journey of pimpification from here to the Promised Land...Learn it, love it, live it bitches! Shaka-Zulu!"
Coolio Cuisine stresses that presentation is everything, and the way he uses his verbal skills to present his recipes is a thing of beauty. Like the term "Shaka-Zula," which Coolio explains is his waying of describing something that "tastes better than your momma's nipples."
Feast on a sampling of his descriptions of some favorite meals:
Backyard Grass Salad:
"I call this the grass salad because it's fresher than a girl in booty shorts on the first day of summer and cleaner than your momma's forehead."
Oil My Mussels:
"Damn, baby, you lookin' so good. I know you're lookin' at me too. That's right, it's your man, Coolio. I know you're hungry, and I know it's not just for food. Get your ass over here and oil my mussels. We'll be enjoyin' a meal together in no time."
"This dish ain't just called Karate Meat because it's got an Asian kick to it. It's called Karate Meat because it will beat you up like a pigeon in prison. This is straight up Blasian cuisine - all the delicacy of Asian cooking with all the attitude and flavor of Coolio's very own kitchen. Perfect this dish and you'll see yourself turning from Ralph Macchio into Mr. Miyagi."
Tricked-Out Westside Tilapia:
"Your lady loves Moby Dick but you've never caught a fish on a rod and reel? Take a chance, make her some Tricked-Out Westside Tilapia and you'll be watching them panties come right off. Zoom! Knocking over lampshades and shit. Shaka!"
Now that's what I called (Gettin' On) Down-home cookin!