Let’s talk about Coolio for a minute. Yes, I’m serious. Now, I’m not sure you could ever call me a Coolio fan per se, though let’s all admit that we kind of loved 90s anthem ‘Gangsta’s Paradise.” That is a good song, if not just a tad dramatic.
Anyway, my point is that Coolio hasn’t really crossed my mind since 1995, but he’s back on my radar with his new book Cookin’ with Coolio: 5 Star Meals at a 1 Star Price (Atria). It’s a cookbook based on the rapper’s Internet cooking show. (Warning: If you don’t enjoy colourful language, don’t click on that link.)
Honestly, when I first checked out this book on amazon.ca, I laughed out loud. Coolio the rapper and one-time participant on Celebrity Big Brother is now trying to be a gourmet? How can I take that seriously? The first chapter is called, ‘How to become a kitchen pimp,’ for goodness sake. But on closer inspection, I realize I was being narrow-minded. This dude can really wax poetic about food. Here’s a quote from the first chapter:
‘As a kitchen pimp, I’ve got just as many tools as Picasso. My plate is whiter and cleaner than even the most exquisite canvas’My marinades add color and flavor so intense that it makes the Mona Lisa look like the Sunday edition of Marmaduke.’
Whoa. That is deep.
Granted, Coolio does use marijuana terminology to measure out his spices (a dime bag of salt refers to a tablespoon) and the word a** features quite prominently in his prose, but his recipes for a food style he calls ‘Ghetto Gourmet’ seem intriguing and actually quite healthy. And you know, some run-of-the-mill cookbooks can be so boring. Why not add a little ghetto fabulous to your cooking? So, yeah, I’d try out some of the dishes in this book. (Hello, Chocolate Sweet Potato Pie!) Would you trust Coolio’s recipes?