My Wife and I share a love for good, healthy food and cooking. We analyze (mostly vegetarian) recipes we find online, on TV or in print. Not only that, we occasionally hang out in the Seasoned Advice forum, a Q & A discussion board in th...
My Wife and I share a love for good, healthy food and cooking. We analyze (mostly vegetarian) recipes we find online, on TV or in print. Not only that, we occasionally hang out in the Seasoned Advice forum, a Q & A discussion board in the StackExchange family, to learn about what people around the world are cooking. This kind of fascination for cooking, made us jump at the idea of reviewing "Cooking for Geeks" when I spotted it in the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program's list of books. We enjoyed it during the first reading and will keep going back to it.
The author Jeff Potter's mixes science and cooking to dish out an educational and entertaining book that helps you "understand cooking". Cooking for Geeks has numerous tips, food science facts, recipes and interviews with cooking experts and aficionados, all mashed-up into 7 chapters that will keep you engaged all through out. Among the passionate people he has interviewed are Maureen Evans (Twitter handle - @cookbook) who posts recipes as a single tweet of 140 characters (Hummus:soak cdry chickpea8h.replace h2o;firstname.lastname@example.org. Puree/season to taste+1/3ctahini&lem&olvoil/½t garlic&salt/cayenne. Chill.) and Nathan Myhrvold, a former CTO of Microsoft who took a sabbatical to go to cooking school in France.
Though this book is presumably written for an American audience and predominantly focuses on Western cuisine, it touches at least briefly all the popular cuisines (Chinese, French, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Latin American, Southeast Asian). Readers who are not interested in varied cuisines or have special requirements (vegan, vegetarian) will have to skip a lot of pages. I found it bizarre that the author informs Quinine ("Quinine in anything other than minute quantities is poisonous"), liquid nitrogen and dry ice, are dangerous and then proceeds to show uses for them in cooking.
Overall, I rate this book 4.5 out of 5. The author discourages giving kitchen tools as gifts but you can very well gift this book to anyone even remotely interested in cooking and they will get hooked to cooking.
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