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Grace + Soul & Mother Wit – New Cookbook by Daphne Maxwell Reid

A Cookbook Spiced with Personal Memories

By: Judy Shields


Hollywood, California (The Hollywood Times) 4/9/2018 “I kept thinking well I have to really codify this sometime and I was encouraged to get that cookbook off my computer. After publishing four other books I said I could do this. I decided this was the time to do it and I did it.” Daphne Maxwell Reid told The Hollywood Times during a phone interview from Virginia.
I totally have to write this: Every person out there who thinks cookbooks are not worth having, you are mistaken. You, plus everyone else out there in the universe needs to have this cookbook. Order one today for yourself and why not get one for that unique gift for a new bride, new mother or anyone that enjoys cooking.

Daphne’s new cookbook will conjure the souls of your grandmother, mother and aunts. It is Unique!
From the first page where Daphne talks about “children not being taught “living” skills, like home making, manners, and common sense and if you think the microwave oven is an essential cooking tool, this may be an eye-opening book for you.”
The second and third pages with a photo of what a table setting should look like and a photo of her beautiful parents Mother Rosalee and Father Green.


Daphne has turned this cookbook into her personal memories opening the door to her life and ask us to come in and make ourselves feel at home.
The introduction pages are filled with her fond memories of her parents and pictures of them, Daphne’s family and adorable pictures of her and her photographic career from 1948-1960 and 1966-1999. She shares wonderful memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays at her farm in Charlottesville, Virginia and has a few pictures of the amazing grounds and spectacular view.

Throughout the book, she shares some of her memories as well as some of her favorite recipes. Page 9 starts with Setting Up the Kitchen, what really, we truly have to set up our kitchen. That is what I’ve been doing wrong all along!

Daphne shows formal dinner place settings as well as casual place settings. Tableware for daily meals, essential pots & pans, utensils along with optional pots & pans and utensils. Pantry and refrigerator essentials. She even has a couple of her beautiful menu cards. She is so talented. There is also basic cooking terms and measurements & stuff.

I really enjoyed the Appeteasers, as her Father Green Maxwell used to call appetizers the “teaser” before the meal. Her Guacamole and Mom’s Cheese biscuits recipes are delicious.





Daphne and I had a great conversation about her new book, her passion for photography and her Custom Made Wearable Art creations called DAPHNE STYLE which are Chinese inspired silk brocade coats she makes and sells on her website:

The Hollywood Times (THT): What are you doing for fun these days?

Tim Reid & Daphne Maxwell Reid (Photo IndieWire)

Daphne Maxwell Reid (DMR): “I also have a collection of wearable art that I have made and I do photography and write books about that and I help my husband (actor Tim Reid) with his institute where he is training filmmakers and, and, and. We have been in this film business for many years now and we built a studio here in Virginia for him to work and we had that for about 18 years and we sold it about three years ago. Now he has downsized to a smaller studio about eight years ago. He started an institute to train filmmakers on the college level because they were not getting any practical knowledge in the schools. It has become an international institute and he has trained over 80 fellows that have gone through this program.”

THT: What was your inspiration for this cookbook?

DMR: “I started this cookbook about 38 years ago. Just living life and collecting recipes from the people who I was working with and the people I grew up with and hung out with. I would have a meal at their house and say this is good and they would give me the recipe. I have been collecting them for years and years and Tim and I used to print these little calendars out with the recipes and send them out as Christmas gifts.”

“It was time for a memoir too, because people kept asking me about my life. When you live a long time they want to know where you are from, how did you do this, so I just put a little bit in the cookbook.”

THT: Do you still talk to your Vivian Bank’s family?

Daphne Maxwell Reid Aunt Viv from Fresh Prince of Bel Air

DMR: “Sure, we hang out together and we help each other do whatever it is we are doing. Kids and babies and going to weddings. It has been great. It’s rare that it ends up being that cohesive.

I have done a bunch of series and this is the one that is most cohesive of the remaining people who were in the show.” (The show being Fresh Prince of Bel Air)

THT: You were a model back in college, how was that for you?

DMR: “I got discovered when I was in college and did that as a lark and it turned into a lovely lark. I kept doing it until I started doing commercials and that was fun and then I started doing voiceovers and that was even more because I didn’t have to put on makeup to do it. Robert Conrad discovered me in Chicago and put me on television on a show he was doing called “The Duke” and that was fun. When I left Chicago and moved to Los Angeles, he was doing another show called “A Man Called Sloan” and he put me on that show and I just kept falling into these wonderful opportunities and learning what I could learn behind the scenes to keep having fun. The stars aligning and taking advantage of opportunities and being prepared for those opportunities by boning up on what I was supposed to know.”

THT: When you were doing modeling was it good back then?

DMR: “It was great, I was in college in Chicago and modeling in New York. I was flying, doing my job and saying hi to my Mom and then going back to school. I had no drama like what is going on with the me too movement now. I was young and really never ran into that. I think they understood that I wasn’t going to put up with something like that. I believe one agent did one approach and he didn’t need to do that anymore.”

THT: What was your passion in college? Modeling?

DMR: “No not at all. That was an opportunity to make some money to get me through school. All they asked me to do was smile and I really know how to do that. I never did runway or anything like that, I was a junior model and I did a lot of editorial stuff. I was never seeking to be what has become supermodels. They did not have supermodels back then, because they had working models. I was happy when they called and not distressed when they didn’t call. I was studying interior design and architecture and having a really good time doing drafting and planning to be architect.”

“I had a real deep interest in detail and architect itself. Being in Chicago you can’t escape great architecture. It was a great environment to be exposed to all sorts of different styles and see where my eye took me. It was helpful in my later years when I turned 60 and decided to become a photographic artist, you just declare it you know, you just say today I’m going to be a photographic artist. (Laughter) you put it there and figure out how to make it come true. I decided to be a photographic artist and realized that the pictures that I had been taking for years were all details of architecture and mostly doors. I started a whole series of photographs from around the world and they became books, and notecards and prints that sold like crazy before the economy crashed. That was my passion for a good ten years. I’m still doing that and now I had to shift my focus to my design work.”“I was born with a lot of gifts and God gave me gifts of things that I need to share. So I am taking this time to share those gifts and express the creativity that I was Blessed with.”

THT: What are you designing?

DMR: “I am designing Chinese coats that folks have been buying very much and I hand make all of them and it takes too much time to do both photos and that.

So I do a spirt of designing and sewing and then I go back to my photography and then I talk about the cookbook and another third thing and another track that is keeping me busy. I have having a great time of my life.”

THT: Tell us about these Chinese coats.

DMR: “Go onto my website at Daphne Style and you will see these toppers that I have been making out of Chinese 100% silk brocades and I have been wearing for years and people have always stopped me in the streets and asked where did you get that and I want one of those and I would say I make it and no. Then finally about three years ago my husband said you should really start making those for other people. And I knew what the time commitment was going to be and I was in the middle of finishing up the cookbook and my fourth book of photography and I said yeah I’ll get to that. He had a fundraising fashion show and he said you are going to be in it so make something. I was able to sell a coat right off the runway and continued on that track for the past two years. I did New York Fashion week, which was a lot of fun. I am getting ready for another fashion show. So I am going to be a little beaver in my studio selling stuff for the next month or two. We have fundraisers here in Virginia for my husband’s institute.”

Check out her designs at:

THT: Are you doing any type of television work?

DMR: “I have local show here on PBS called “Virginia Currents” and I am the host of that. It is a show that is shown every week, although we tape it in bunches. I will go where any of the casting agents call me. I still have agents and still do auditions, haven’t landed anything lately, but okay.”

Daphne has three grandchildren, ages 16, 14 and 12, which also keeps her busy. She also said that Northwestern has a great deal of her archives. She said she loves their facility and they maintain it digitally so that it will be available for research and for her kids. She was very honored when they asked for that.

Opening Closed Doors: Cuba 2015 is available now. Travel with Daphne through Cuba, just prior to the process of lifting the United States embargo, to see the beautiful Cuban culture through her eyes.

Belgium: Doors Old & New is the third of her collections, a catalogue of two wonderfully charming cities in Belgium, Brugge and Antwerp.

France, featuring the beautiful doors she found in Auvillar, Toulouse, and Paris.

HOT OFF THE PRESS: A book without doors, Grace, Soul and Motherwit: A Cookbook Spiced with Personal Memories AND the 2018 Calendar from Venice, Italy (autographed on your birthday) is now available.

All of her books are dedicated, autographed, and dated when purchased. Get them today, one for yourself and get several, they will make excellent gifts.


About Daphne Maxwell Reid
People remember me as “Aunt Vivian” from “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” Throughout my years of work on television, I traveled the world and captured images of portals, doors, gates and architectural details, some of which have sparked a strong emotional response in me; they awakened the sense of wonder and curiosity that took me back to my childhood when I was endlessly exploring what was behind the many doors that surrounded me.

The time has come for me to share my photographic eye with you. I hope to awaken your childhood sense of wonder and curiosity with “Daphne Maxwell Reid’s Fresh Prints®” a collection of signed DIGITAL PRINTS, and four BOOKS that share with you the stories of the journeys that have taken me around the world, as well a one book of memories in the form of a cookbook entitled “Grace, Soul & Mother Wit”.

Reid was born in New York City, the daughter of Rosalee and Green Maxwell. She is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science. She received a degree in interior design and architecture from Northwestern University, which she attended on a scholarship and where she became the first African-American woman to be named homecoming queen. While at Northwestern she began a modeling career, eventually signing with the Eileen Ford modeling agency. She was one of the first black women to be on the cover of Glamour magazine.
She has appeared in numerous television programs. Her best-known role was replacing Janet Hubert-Whitten as Vivian Banks on the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1993 to 1996. She joined the show right after the fictional character Nicky Banks was born toward the end of Season 3, when Hubert-Whitten was released from her contract after a contract violation and multiple problems working with the show’s star, Will Smith. She had a recurring role as JT’s mother, Frances Hunter, on the UPN sitcom Eve, and then played Juanita Lawrence on the BET sitcom Let’s Stay Together. Reid is also an accomplished photographer. During the 1980s and 1990s Reid served on the advisory board of the National Student Film Institute.

Recipient of the Women of Vision Award from Women in Film & Video – DC. (Wikipedia)