The good folks of Insight Editions graciously sent me two celebrity television show cookbooks to review. I agreed to review the books because I am a fan of both Friends and The Office. If you watched all episodes of both shows, you will appreciate the recipes in each book. I coupled both books in one review. The longevity of both shows has a wealth of food-related stories, this places well into the authors’ hands for source material. Both books capture the true essence of pop culture-riddled shows with references to food. Netflix and Peacock streaming services both increased the popularity of Friends and The Office to newer audiences. These two books are not only for fans but also for serious foodies who want something a little bit more special. There are plenty of fun facts in both books. You will have a new appreciation for the shows.
The first book is Friends: The Official Cookbook by Amanda Yee.
Gather your friends and prepare to say, “How you doin’?”
to more than 100 recipes inspired by the beloved hit sitcom. Whether you are a seasoned chef like Monica Geller, just starting a catering business like Phoebe Buffay, or a regular old food enthusiast like Joey Tribbiani, Friends: The Official Cookbook offers a variety of recipes for chefs of all levels. From appetizers to main courses and from drinks to desserts, each chapter includes iconic treats such as Monica’s Friendsgiving Feast, Rachel’s Trifle, Just for Joey Fries, Chandler’s “Milk You Can Chew,” Phoebe’s Grandmother’s Cookies, and of course, The Moist Maker. Complete with more than seventy recipes and beautiful full-color photography, this charming cookbook is both a helpful companion for home cooks and a fun homage to the show that has always been there for you.
The most obvious food reference on Friends is that Monica is a chef and they all hang out at Central Perk. The coffee house is the main gathering place where all the Friends break the bread of sorts. Other food-related episodes are chronicled with distinctive recipes. Their distinctive backgrounds also play a big part in the diverse foods inspired by the show. If you are going to binge-watch Friends, this book is an excellent companion to add to your experience.
AMANDA YEE is a Chinese, Norwegian, and African-American expatriate chef from Oakland, California, living in Copenhagen, Denmark. Amanda has worked extensively in both critically acclaimed Californian and Danish restaurants while operating a community-based supper club called Five & Dime. She was also the assistant and sous chef to James Beard award-winning chef Bryant Terry. Her diverse culinary experiences include a focus on health, nutrition, Californian cuisine, soul food, Mediterranean cuisine, and Middle Eastern cuisine.
The second book is The Office: The Official Party Planning Guide to Planning Parties, written by Marc Sumerak, recipes by Julie Tremaine, and crafts by Anne Murlowski.
As fans know a good part of The Office is about parties organized by Party Planning Committee where food becomes a backdrop to the plot. Yes, you will find Kevin’s legendary chili family recipe. The book is just worth getting for that one chili recipe. The other iconic food scene is Jim’s stapler in the gelatin prank. You will find a recipe in the book for all walks of life. It is a fun book for all.
Lead your very own party planning committee with this official guide to throwing The Office-inspired events! The Office: The Official Party Planning Guide to Planning Parties features twelve easy-to-follow party ideas with step-by-step instructions for creating the best PPC-approved parties, including recipes, decorations, office pranks, party games, and more!
Host an authentic New England garden party with James Trickington’s “helpful” tips and tricks; throw a holiday party with Orange-Vod-Juice-Ka, Angela Martin’s double fudge brownies, and a special visit from the Belsnickel; and more. Each party includes food, decor, and activities inspired by the beloved characters and the hilarious shenanigans from the hit NBC series.
Marc Sumerak is an Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated writer and editor whose work over the past two decades has been featured in comics, books, and video games showcasing some of pop culture’s most beloved franchises, including Marvel, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Firefly, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, and many more. Find out more at www.sumerak.com.
Julie Tremaine is a food and travel writer whose work has appeared in outlets such as Forbes, Bloomberg Next, Yahoo!, Yankee Magazine, and Providence Monthly, where she was executive editor and creative director. Julie does not like to take sides in the Team Sam or Team Dean debate…because she’s Team Castiel. Read more of her writing at Travel-Sip-Repeat.com.
Anne Murlowski is a digital marketer, avid party planner, and crafter.
I enjoyed leaving through both books. With COVID-19 still in full force, these books are an amazing way to distract with original recipes that are bound to put a smile. There is something for all levels of recipes and food creation for all. If you are not a fan of both shows, you will find something that exceptional to your food cravings. I highly recommend you buy both books. It is more than a recipe book; it is pop culture at its best.
Fun Fact: There is no Chili’s in Scranton, Pennsylvania.