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Dude Food: Cookbooks for Guys

A crop of guy-friendly cookbooks will get him into the kitchen

Want to encourage your man to take spend a little more time in the kitchen? Here are some top picks to get his spatula fired up. Now that’s hot.

Recipes Every Man Should Know
Susan Russo and Brett Cohen (Quirk Books, $9.95)

This little black book should find its way into every man’s holiday stocking. Or perhaps left under a pillow, on the tool bench or atop the toilet (hey, he spends a lot of time in there). The fact is: Cooking is sexy, and men who can do it with confidence are even sexier. This pocket-sized guide to good eats is studly enough to stash away in the kitchen drawer while whipping up poker-night buffalo wings, lady-killing strawberries zabaglione, dinner-at-my-house shrimp fettucine and parent-impressing bacon-wrapped meatloaf. Plus, a handy guide to man-tastic turkey carving. It’s the best cookbook your guy will ever completely disavow that he ever needed in the first place (but secretly love).
Cooking for Geeks
Jeff Potter (O’Reilly, $34.99)
Real men cook with goggles and liquid nitrogen! Making cheffy molecular gastronomists look rather twee, O’Reilly’s Cooking for Geeks is a densely packed collection of hard-core food science, cooking nerdery, inspiring interviews and clever recipes for the industrial-tool and beaker-set. Marrying cookery, chemistry, biology and physics, author Jeff Potter takes readers on fantastic edible explorations both of his own inspiration and luminaries including chemist Herve This, web luminary Xeni Jardin and Twitter recipe-writer Maureen Evans. Consider this the culinary love child of Harold McGee and Adam Savage where you can calculate gluten percentages of different flours before making a pie dough or the physiology of tasting before whipping up a batch of Michael Chu’s (Cooking for Engineers) Bar-Charted Tiramisu. Then suit up and play with nitrous oxide creamers and the denaturing of animal collagen. Brilliant! Now, you’ll excuse us while we perfect our bacon-infused bourbon with 30-second chocolate cake.
Mosh Potatoes: Recipes, Anecdotes, and Mayhem from the Heavyweights of Heavy Metal
Steve Seabury (Simon and Schuster, $15)
Finally, a cookbook worthy of the metal militia. In this kick-ass compendium of horn-throwing eats, the baddest boys (and girls) of heavy metal dish up their up their favorite recipes. Stop laughing. Because glass shards, bat’s blood and Cheetos get old after a while. Metal head Steve “Buckshot” Seabury has collected recipes from silly (Weeping Brown Eye Chili, Hangover Pie, Trailerpark Shepherd’s pie) to serious (seared tuna with wasabi-butter sauce, Linguine and Clams Castellamare), along with uncensored anecdotes from the metal gods of Dokken, Coheed and Cambria, Queensryche, Lamb of God, Guns N Roses, Alice Cooper and dozens of others you’ll no doubt recognize from hours in front of That Metal Show and Dinner with the Band. There’s no shortage of head-bangin’ dude food here, pasta, chili, burritos, pizza and lots of meat –though we can’t help but be intrigued by the mini cheesecake tarts by the figure-conscious Ronny Munroe of Metal Church. Rockin.
Secrets of the Sommeliers: How to Think and Drink Like the World’s Top Wine Professionals
Rjat Parr and Jordan Mackay (Ten Speed Press, $32.50)
No one likes a wine snob. Likewise, no one likes a jack wagon who doesn’t know his Pinot from Cabernet Sauvignon. Consider this gentleman’s guide to the wine world — a sort of best friend in the business who’ll walk you through the basics of everything from tasting to buying without treating you like an idiot. More than just a primer, Secrets is filled with insider insights, especially when it comes to Parr’s near-encyclopedic knowledge of French wines. Less endearing is Parr’s sniffy disdain for most Californian wines, though a prevalent attitude with many sommeliers who fault them with being over-extracted and over-alcoholic. What stings is that Napa and Sonoma collectively get short shrift, with only cursory (and rather snippy) inclusions, mostly categorized as over-rated. Then again, soms are known for their strong opinions — even when they’re wrong. Armed with your newfound understanding of body, structure, tannins and nose, however, you’ll be able to  decide for yourself what tastes good.

Editor’s Note: Travel, dining and wine tasting can be complicated right now. Use our inspirational ideas to plan ahead for your next outing, be it this week or next year. If you visit restaurants, wineries, and other businesses during the pandemic, remember to call ahead, make reservations, wear a mask and social distance.

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