Culinary Intelligence: The Art of Eating Healthy (and Really Well)

Peter Kaminsky, Author
Peter Kaminsky. Knopf, $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-307-59337-5
Reviewed on: 04/09/2012
Release date: 05/01/2012
After his insurance company refused to renew his life insurance policy because of his weight and possible diabetes, Kaminsky (Pig Perfect: Encounters with Remarkable Swine) began “putting Culinary Intelligence into practice.” Rather than “forgo health on the one hand, or hedonism on the other,” his “truly insatiable appetite for the pleasures of the table” and his “equally strong urge to survive” resulted in the refinement of his dietary habits. He assails the American diet as a “food culture based on industrially processed ingredients and the unholy trinity of sugar, salt, and fat.” His “one guiding principle” is to maximize “Flavor per Calorie”: choose ingredients for optimum flavor, and prepare with the “goal of intensifying that flavor,” and you will be “satisfied while eating less.” There are no dietary revelations, but Kaminsky’s approach separates itself from other regimens that prescribe certain foods for certain meals. Although nongastronomes may find the subject mundane, his historical and scientific insight into the evolution of food and his wit make it palatable for all. (May)