cover image Life & Cuisine of Elvis Presley

Life & Cuisine of Elvis Presley

David A. Adler. Three Rivers Press (CA), $15 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-517-88024-1

Writes Adler of the King, ``Food, his first love, was the love that destroyed him.'' Here is some that did, along with story snippets from the life of Elvis. If you want fried squirrel, you can find it. Likewise, ``Shit on a Shingle''--the creamed chipped beef that Elvis ate while doing time in the army. (``Some claim,'' notes Adler, ``the army ruined Elvis.'') The volume surveys snacks, meals at Graceland, road food in the 1950s, the deep-South stuff of Presley's boyhood, Hollywood, Las Vegas (including a recipe for his wedding cake), and a chapter devoted wholly to Elvis's diets. Adler writes in the strong first person--the story of Elvis's food is also the story of the author's exploration of the King's stomach--and studs his tale with oddnesses: Nurses Cocke and Seamon, who cared for Elvis at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis when he ailed; Lora Down of New York City's East Village, who bakes chocolate cornbread twice a year ``for Elvis'' with the hope of bringing him back from the dead. (The recipe, dictated by ``the spirits,'' is of course included.) Jauntily designed with insets of drumsticks, Twinkies, and an authentic Elvis grocery list, the book's bound to entertain a good many people who may or may not want to raise new tastes to their lips. Adler also wrote Elvis My Dad . Photos not seen by PW. (July)