By 1928, Al Capone carried 255 pounds on his five-feet, 10-and-a-half inch frame. “Mountains of pasta and Niagaras of Chianti had deposited layers of fat” on the gangster’s body, wrote one biographer.
When Bill Cosby finds himself in Washington, D.C., a meal at Ben’s Chili Bowl is almost a given. The actor courted his wife Camille at Ben’s in the 1960s, and he held a national press conference at the greasy spoon-style eatery in 1985 to celebrate his then top-ranked TV sit-com. “I have always loved Ben’s Chili Bowl,” wrote Cosby, “and it has always been consistent.”
Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, the French novelist known simply as Colette, died on this date in 1954. She was the source of scandal, mostly for having an affair with her teenaged step-son. Yet, when she died, she became the first French woman granted an official state funeral. The author of the novel Gigi loved truffles — underground mushrooms whose delicate fragrance and flavor are prized by gourmands. And she was particular about how they were prepared.
Truffles, she wrote, were to be steeped in dry white wine. Don't use champagne, she noted, because the truffle does very well without it. As for seasoning truffles, she instructed cooks to add just a little salt and pepper. "No other spices whatsoever!" she insisted.
Star swimmer Michael Phelps has had a productive Olympics, adding new medals to those he won in the Beijing four years ago. A champion athlete has to monitor his diet closely, but Phelps’ eating habits were not so strict during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Although he built his diet around pizza and pasta, Phelps managed to win six gold medals.
After Phelps made history at the 2008 Olympics, a British newspaper reported that the “secret” to the swimmer’s success was his 12,000-calorie-a-day diet. But Phelps called that calorie count an exaggeration, saying that he consumed between 8,000 to 10,000 calories each day — a range that’s still about four times the caloric intake recommended for a typical adult male.