Roger Ebert Can't Eat, But He Wrote a Cool CookbookRoger Ebert, arguably the face of film criticism in America, isn't much known for his food writing. That didn't stop him from coming out with a new cookbook, and neither did the fact that he hasn't been able to eat, taste, or smell for four years, since cancer claimed his lower jaw.

In a cooking-centric New York Times profile, 68-year-old Ebert is shown as a man much enamored with food to this day, regardless of his circumstances.

"I love spicy and Indian," he wrote on a notepad -- he can no longer speak. "Food for me is in the present tense. Eating for me is now only in the past tense. I can remember the taste and smell of everything, even though I can no longer taste or smell."

The onetime 'At the Movies' host spoke of his "voluptuous food memory," saying he fantasized about root beer and candy for weeks after his surgery. Steak 'n Shake has been a touchstone in Ebert's post-food days; he contends the chain and his Illinois heritage are inseparable. While Ebert can't recall his last meal or some of his finer dining experiences in life, trips to Steak 'n Shake are so vivid he spent hospital time visualizing meals at the diner, bite by bite.