by Liz Smith
The venerable gossip columnist cooks up a different kind of dish in this chatty, good-natured book devoted to all things cuisine. Along with celebrity anecdotes (after a great interview, Renée Zellweger begins regularly sending cookies) and Smith's own culinary cravings (there's an entire chapter on chicken-fried steak), Dishing includes mouth-watering star recipes (Katharine Hepburn's favorite brownies, anyone?). The author has dined with just about everyone, and she's clearly at ease relaying each juicy detail, but at times her chapters read like a string of columns served in somewhat disjointed succession. While celebrating good food is always fun, Dishing is a bit like Elvis's recipe for deep-fried Snickers bars: delicious in tiny nibbles, but not quite a meal.