How to Cook Like a Man: A Memoir of Cookbook Obsession

Daniel Duane, Author
Daniel Duane. Bloomsbury, $24.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-60819-102-4
Reviewed on: 03/05/2012
Release date: 05/08/2012
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-60819-415-5
Paperback - 204 pages - 978-1-62040-066-1
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For rock-climbing, skateboarding, guitar-playing, surfer Duane, cooking from cookbooks is a passion, at least after the birth of his first child. Soon after he and his wife, Liz, bring home their daughter, Hannah, Duane suffers an identity crisis, anxiously wondering how he can contribute value to his new family. Realizing that three hours of waiting for the perfect wave every afternoon won’t work, he decides that he’ll become the family cook, putting hot meals on the table every night when Liz returns home tired from work. Yet Duane won’t be just any cook; in the same way that he obsessively waited for the perfect wave (in his book Caught Inside), he’s now going to cook perfect meals by following the recipes in Alice Waters’s cookbook, Chez Panisse Vegetables. In eight years of living obsessively, Duane cooks his way through all seven of Waters’s cookbooks, searching frantically for fresh ingredients in local farmers’ markets or taking off to Alaska to fish for fresh salmon. He throws lavish parties for groups of friends not only in order to try out new recipes but also to show off his newly acquired way with pots, pans, sauces, and wine reductions. In this hilarious, touching, if at times self-absorbed memoir, Duane leads us on the wild culinary roller coaster of his food-soaked and recipe-drenched mania until he finally stops and learns to integrate his passion for cooking into his daily life. Agent: Sam Stoloff. (May)
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