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Celebs Dish About Their Fave Foods

Celebrity gossip magazines often speculate whether any food is crossing the lips of super-skinny stars like Lindsay Lohan or Nicole Richie. A newly syndicated food column is proving that some celebrities not only love a good meal, but enjoy cooking it as well.

Steven J. Austin, a food columnist with The Clarion-Ledger newspaper in Jackson, Miss., started writing the "Fave Foods of the Famous" column in December 2002. In March, King Features Syndicate began syndicating the weekly column to its 1,300 subscribers.

"The biggest compliment I get from a reader is when they clip the column and put it on the refrigerator," Austin said.

From William Shatner's turkey burgers to Three 6 Mafia's penchant for gourmet cheese and trips to The Waffle House, Austin has interviewed a range of celebrities.

"This isn't controversial stuff, it's about food. This is entertainment," Austin said.

Other celebrities interviewed for the Austin's column have included B.B. King and Latoya Jackson. Austin spoke with Jackson while her famous brother, Michael, was on trial for allegations of child molestation last year. He said Jackson spoke of cooking Mexican food with sister Janet and her brothers' love of chocolate cake for dessert.

"The readers just loved that because it was a behind the scenes something that they would never ever hear about," Austin said.

Among his most popular columns is an interview with renowned chef Emeril Lagasse. During the chat, Lagasse said his favorite snack is frozen regular flavor Zapps Potato Chips.

"We got so much mail about that," Austin said. "People tried it and they loved it."

The most popular recipe belongs to Julian Phillips, host of "Fox & Friends Weekend" on Fox News. Phillips' grilled salmon with black bean sauce has remained a fan favorite, earning the honor of a second printing in the column.

Austin is in the process of writing a book featuring celebrity anecdotes that were a little too racy to include in his weekly column.

A New York native, Austin has lived in the South for 25 years and has adopted a taste for fried catfish and hushpuppies. He still misses some things from home though — like pizza.

Kathy Hanrahan