Book / Columbo News / Community

Columbo cook book out now! Much more than chilli and black coffee…

Columbo cooking

Columbo was quite a dab hand in the kitchen himself

Have you ever stopped to think about the important role food played in Columbo? If not, then let’s consider now.

From the Lieutenant cooking an omelette for Joanna Ferris in Murder by the Book to him whipping up scaloppini for Paul Gerard in Murder Under Glass; from him gulping Dr Keppel’s caviar in Double Exposure to assisting Dexter Paris on a live cookery show in Double Shock; and from garlic snails over chess in The Most Dangerous Match to poisoned marmalade in Rest in Peace Mrs Columbo, food is an ever-present and extremely enjoyable ingredient of the show.

And that’s what makes a new cookery book inspired by Columbo and its cavalcade of guest stars such a mouthwatering prospect.

“Food is an ever-present and extremely enjoyable ingredient of the show.”

Released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first airing of Prescription: Murder in February,  the book in question is entitled Cooking With Columbo: Suppers With The Shambling Sleuth – and it’s the creation of London-based Columbo super fan Jenny Hammerton.

Cooking with Columbo bookJenny, the proprietress of the popular Silver Screen Suppers blog, plundered her extensive archives of more than 7000 movie star recipes to come up with meal suggestions to match every Columbo episode!

Featuring favourite recipes from the likes of Peter Falk, Vincent Price, Johnny Cash, Robert Conrad, Trish Van Devere, Dick Van Dyke and Janet Leigh, there’s inspiration enough to create sensational dinners for one right through to opulent banquets and house parties – including enough chilli variations to keep purists happy (although no squirrel chilli recipe makes the cut).

Having had the opportunity to have a sneak preview of this book prior to its publication, I can only commend  Jenny for her passion for the subject matter and her devotion to the Columbo cause. I was delighted, too, to have been asked to write a foreword to the book: a chance I leapt at!

“I can only commend author Jenny for her passion for the subject matter and her devotion to the Columbo cause.”

Speaking on the inspiration behind the book, Jenny says: “I’ve been a fan of Columbo for as long as I can remember. He’s been a constant companion for me since the 1970s.

“A few years ago, I started working my way through the box set on my kitchen DVD player as I cooked my evening meals. I’m a movie star recipe collector and one night it hit me like a thunderbolt. I had recipes in my collection for so many of Columbo‘s amazing co-stars, why not start cooking my way through them?

“I hope that I’ve created a fun tribute to the best TV series that was ever created, and perhaps given inspiration for Columbo dinner parties, indulgent dinners for one or romantic dinners for two. If the book encourages people to try Columbo for the first time or prompts fans of the show to cook something Columbo specific, I’ll be very happy indeed!”

Columbo chef.jpg

Hey good lookin’, watcha got cookin’?

If Cooking with Columbo sounds like your cup of tea (or black coffee), the book is available in paperback and for Kindle on Amazon at bargainous prices. Find out more, read a preview, or order online here.

Jenny has also offered to give away a copy of the book to one lucky reader of this blog. If you’d like to enter the draw to win, simply leave a comment below about your favourite Columbo food-related memory and a winner will be drawn at random. Closing date for comments is 1 March 2018 so get amongst it!

UPDATE: The winner of the book, drawn at random from all those who entered a comment below, is Aaron Goldstein. Jenny will be in touch directly to arrange shipment of the book! Thanks to everyone who commented…

Until next time, bon appetit!
Eating.gif

95 thoughts on “Columbo cook book out now! Much more than chilli and black coffee…

  1. Pingback: Columbo cook book Christmas giveaway! | The Columbophile

  2. Pingback: The Columbo Christmas Gift Guide | The Columbophile

  3. Hello there. Murder under glass in one of my favorite episodes, and I always wondered what’s the dish Vittorio is serving Paul during the murder scene. It looks like a half red apple or something. Anyone knows what it is? Thanks in advance!

  4. So many excellent scenes with chili. I’d have to go with Chili at Barney’s Beanery in “Ransom for a deadman.” You really can’t go wrong with that one.

  5. Pingback: Cooking With Columbo Book Launch - Silver Screen Suppers

  6. The one that stands out for me is when Doctor Mason, apparently caught red-handed in the middle of a poisoning attempt, simply devours the chocolate in “How To Dial A Murder”; he just looks so danged *cheerful* about it.

    • Richard, thank you SO MUCH for that amazing review. You have no idea how happy that has made me. FIVE STARS – I am blushing! Thanks so much for taking the time to do that Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  7. Love the episode where he just keeps ording food when he is eating with Dabney Coleman while he is just ordering soup.

    • I watched that loads of times to list everything the Lieutenant ordered! I plan to serve up a dinner sometime that includes everything he had… Namely, New York Steak (medium rare), asparagus with hollandaise sauce, roast potatoes, a shrimp cocktail to start with, a Caesar salad and a piece of sweetcorn. Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  8. My favourite food moment is when he wants to peel his boiled egg.. Asked another officer if there was any finger prints on the murder weapon (a wrench of some sort). The officer says no none and he asks for him to bring it closer and taps his egg on it to start peeling it.

    • I don’t blame you! All the chili recipes are good and Jack’s trout is great. I am waiting to see if anyone attempts Ricardo’s calves brain soup recipe! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  9. One of my favorites is in “Swan Song”. Ever the chili connoisseur, he comments “That’s delicious, never tasted chili like that before”. He’s told “Special recipe, made with squirrel meat”…He replies “Yup that explains it”. 🙂

    • Brilliant pic Robyn! I have not been brave enough to try making the Johnny Cash Chili with squirrel meat yet, but I might do! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  10. what about the Irish beef stew in the homeless centre in negative reaction , he didn’t seem too keen on it as Mr Dolan said you’re beef stew is getting cold , it was hardly a nice restaurant more like a doghouse , all the cutlery was made of factory metal and serve by nuns.

  11. I love the scene in Dagger of the Mind where he’s trying to eat, but the two constables beside him keep passing crime scene photos in front of him and discussing the trauma. Disgusts him and he can’t eat. 😂

    • He also has good old British fish and chips in that episode and remarks how ‘nice but greasy’ they are with the Houses of Parliament in the background.

      • Yep, I love that scene where he’s eating fish and chips out of paper whilst walking along the Embankment! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

    • This MIGHT be my favourite too Vanessa, so hard to choose though. Poor Columbo, he’s so excited when he sees that amazing trolley full of food – those photos really put him off! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  12. I love when Columbo is eating in the mess hall in the episode By Dawn’s Early Light and and asks about why are the cadets being punished, please pass the butter, and after only having two or three bites all the while talking about the case and still has a couple more questions and the Colonel asks if he’s done maybe we can walk and talk and Columbo says I always have a lite supper. Then take a biscuit and puts it in his coat pocket.

    • HAHA! Yep, eating a square meal! I really love it when Columbo has food in his pocket! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  13. My fav food moment was when Columbo got sick from clams. Being allergic too. Then when he had chili he thought it had clams in it, and he has soup with clams in it with Rod Steiger.

    • I’ve transcribed the Lieutenant’s way of making veal scallopini for the book. I made it too and it was delicious exactly the way he made it! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  14. I love the moment in A Trace Of Murder where they are sitting in a restaurant and Columbo solves the crime when he realizes the perps know each other based on his knowledge of how Shera Danese – Peter Falk’s real life wife – takes her coffee.

  15. Has to be the chili scene in Publish or Perish.Ordering the crackers and ketchup while the pompous waiter gives disapproving looks.
    Then the comedic finale has Columbo questions the price and the iced tea is added to the bill!

    • Oh yes, I love the restaurant scene in Publish or Perish so much! Columbo interacting with pompous waiters is always fun! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  16. His boiled eggs in the pocket!! loved that…and sometimes he had salt in the other pocket, almost like he is physically acting out his famous …”just one more thing”!! Even if I don’t win, this is the best book I have ever seen!!! Thank you so much for writing it. To say I love Columbo is an understatement. He is the best character ever created with the most genius bit of casting that has ever been done.

    • Aw, thanks for your kind words Caroline. The book was so much fun to write. I even suggest in the introduction that if you can’t be bothered to cook when you have friends round to watch an episode of Columbo, just put a big bowl of hardboiled eggs on the table and tell them that’s dinner! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  17. My favourite has got to be Columbo eating chilli, obviously in numerous episodes and not a food I’d ever thought of eating but eventually gave it a try and loved it. I even had chilli on the 50th anniversary of the great man’s first TV appearance.

    • Hi Chris – SNAP! I had chili too on the 50th anniversary! The book has chili recipes from the kitchens of Johnny Cash and Trish VanDevere as well as the legendary Chasen’s chili! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  18. I have to agree with Cristi that the dinner in “Any Old Port” was my favorite “meal moment” in the Columbo series. Lots of other contenders, of course.

    • I agree that the meal moment in Any Old Port in a Storm is brilliant! #LiquidFilth! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  19. Now that’s a tough one, because there are so many good food moments. I always laugh at the scene in “Stitch in Crime” where Columbo gate crashes Dr Mayfield’s party, eats too many things too fast and then asks the bad Dr for something for his stomach.

    • Oh, I love this too! Dr Mayfield just sits there drinking a martini while Columbo stuffs his face! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  20. Greenhouse Jungle
    “Last night I had it with beans?” Drive in guy nods “Without beans….variety”

    TBBSHIQMC
    “I’ll have a doughnut” to waitress Jamie Lee Curtis, who had taken his outside doughnut.

    • The Jamie Lee Curtis sequence is priceless! I too vary my chili – sometimes beans, sometimes without beans for variety! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  21. I’d pick the entire “Murder Under Glass” episode with all of its luxurious dishes I’d love to try by myself! I especially adore the final scene with cooking scaloppini, but maybe the best one is… the funeral scene when the victim’s cook promises Columbo that they all support him and that he will not be hungry till the end of the investigation.

    • Yes, it’s brilliant to see Columbo enjoying some really fancy food! He loves it all!

      I’ve transcribed the recipe for Columbo’s version of scaloppini in the book – so if you win it, you could try it!!

      Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  22. So many great food moments mentioned. One of my favorites is in a later episode ‘Agenda for Murder’, Columbo goes ga ga over the cheese that is sitting on the victim’s desk.

    • Haha! Yes! That’s a brilliant scene, and the cheese provides him with the clue to it all too – genius! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  23. One of the biggest incongruencies in Columbo revolved around escargot. Columbo praised the French restaurant’s escargot in the Season 2 episode “Most Dangerous Match” with Laurence Harvey when he took Emmett Clayton back to the restaurant. But by Season 5’s “A Case of Immunity” Columbo has a look of shock on his face when after sampling the Suarian King’s food he is told that escargot are snails. A blatant continuity error if there ever was one.

  24. One of my favorites is: “An exciting meal has been ruined by the presence of this… LIQUID FILTH!” – Any Old Port in a Storm
    Perhaps a tad tangential but still great!

    • I agree with you Cristi! When this episode was featured during the #ColumboTV monthly tweet-along the hashtag #LiquidFilth was trending! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  25. Best moment for me is Columbo’s face when offered a (then) new-fangled ‘vitamin pill’ for breakfast as a healthy alternative to real food — in the early Seventies episode ‘An Exercise In Fatality’.

  26. My favorite food memory from ‘Columbo’ would be the chance to sample the chili being served at Tommy Brown’s “lawn party”. Only to find out that the meat in the chili was squirrel….

    • Brilliant choice! I haven’t been brave enough to try squirrel meat in chili yet, but it MIGHT happen, just in tribute to Columbo! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  27. Love so many food-related subjects on Columbo but think I will pick him discovering the expensive caviar in Double Exposure. Classic.

    • Oh yes! That makes me laugh too – digging into the evidence at a murder scene with a spoon! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

    • I agree! You can’t beat chili and crackers with ANY episode of Columbo, but lots of other ideas in the book too! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  28. My favorite food scene is in “Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star”. That scene with Dabney Coleman and the somewhat incredulous waiter makes me laugh every time I watch it.

    “I’ll just have…”
    “…and maybe …”
    “…and…”
    “…and…”

    Hilarious!

    • I really love that scene too Kathy! I am planning to watch that episode again soon after a meal of exactly what Columbo ordered, New York Steak (medium rare), asparagus with hollandaise sauce, roast potatoes, a shrimp cocktail to start with, a Caesar salad and a piece of sweetcorn. Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  29. It’s hard to pick a favorite; but it was funny in Double Shock when Mrs. Peck offered him some of the dead uncle’s health cookies.
    Columbo definitely would rather have been eating a boiled egg….

    • I love the way Columbo says that he’s “extremely fond of health cookies”! I think Mrs Peck is my absolute favourite of ALL characters in Columbo! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  30. My fave Columbo cookery moment is perhaps too obvious, but so be it — it can only be Columbo cooking on TV with Martin Landsu’s Dexter Paris in Double Shock. So good!

    • I always have a boiled egg in my coat pocket now – admittedly, it’s a plastic one! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  31. The previous commenter picked my favorites also, I always love how he ticks off almost every waiter he’s with. One of my favorite eating scenes is when he’s cracking a hard boiled egg on the side of his car in the episode with Mr Nimoy.

    • I agree Matt, always great to see Columbo interact with waiters in posh restaurants! Always fun to see what Columbo finds to crack his boiled eggs on too! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

  32. I can think of so many food-related fun on Columbo, like cooking with Martin Landau in “Double Shock,” or when he cooks for the restaurant critic/murderer played by Louis Jourdan in “Murder Under Glass.” But my favorite, by far, is when he’s dining in the fancy Chasen’s Restaurant with Mariette Hartley and Jacques Aubuchon in “Publish or Perish,” and he orders chili! I love it!

    • Good choices! I just love Mariette’s outfit in the Chasen’s scene – I want a scarlet jacket with a matching hat too! Thanks for entering the giveaway – fingers crossed! Jenny (author of Cooking With Columbo)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.