Cancer left Roger Ebert unable to eat or speak—but it didn’t rob his ability to cook. The beloved film critic, who often reminisces about the foods he misses (root beer, Steak ‘n Shake) on his blog, doesn’t mind sharing a restaurant meal or a kitchen cooking lesson with a reporter. “Food for me is in the present tense,” he tells the New York Times. And to prove it, he’s publishing a cookbook.
The Pot and How to Use It is made up entirely of recipes for the rice cooker, an appliance he learned to love while on a quest to lose weight. He started making breakfasts, stews, and even snacks to take to movies in the rice cooker. Nowadays, how does he know a recipe he can’t sample is a success? “It’s all experience, my visuals, and friendly tasters,” he says. “I’ve used The Pot so very many times I know what everything I make in it MUST taste like.”