Hollywood may live on gossip, but for chef-to-the-stars Akasha Richmond, the town's love affair with health food whips up the juiciest tales of all. In Hollywood Dish (Avery, 2006), Richmond delivers amusing, enlightening histories behind Tinseltown's tastiest recipes, such as the origins of granola and smoothies.

"There was a huge health food movement starting in Los Angeles around the turn of the last century," she says. "It makes perfect sense that when actors left the stage for the big screen, they needed to look their best, and that meant healthy eating and exercise. Once the fan magazines picked up on this, the rest of America followed." Try Richmond's Squash-Topped Spinach Pie or her Parsnip-Truffle Purée with Wild Mushroom Sauce for an Oscar-worthy Thanksgiving performance.