The first season of The Mind Of A Chef stars Chef David Chang, is narrated and executive produced by Anthony Bourdain, has guest appearances from some of the most acclaimed chefs in the world and has science interludes from Harold McGee. This program seems like a winner. And it is… if you can look past (or sit back and enjoy) some of the weirdness and showiness. More
Food and drink enthusiasts seem to be in one of two camps when it comes to Starbucks. The first camp is people who think Starbucks is the McDonalds of coffee with zero redeeming qualities. The second is people who think Starbucks is a stepping stone to the world of gourmet and specialty coffees for the average consumer. More
Part humor book, part cookbook and part humorous how-to, Cook To Bang is a surprisingly decent introduction into cooking for the young bachelor.
I remember when I was little I went to a summer day camp that had several time-slots during the day where campers could choose from different week long session to attend. The sessions I remember the most include model rocketry and cooking for the bachelor. Cooking for the bachelor was essentially a couple of college-aged counselors teaching us basic cooking from cans and packets of premixed seasoning. Cook To Bang is essentially that class but for people old enough to have a drivers licence.
Cook To Bang is not a real cookbook. Yes, it has a lot of recipes but, as the subtitle suggests, it’s really a humorous how-to book for young “gentlemen” to get laid. It is also jokingly over-the-top with it’s depiction of women and 50’s era misogyny. It is so overboard and nonstop that you have to be completely dead inside to think that it is serious but the book stays “in character” so well.
Thankfully, Cook To Bang is both funny and a source of some good culinary (and dating) information. It’s no surprise then that the the back of the book says the author, Spencer Walker, worked as a sous-chef, private chef and a caterer, a creative execute for Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network and a writer for Warner Bros., Nickelodeon, and Disney. The book presents concepts, terminology and ingredients in an immature (in the style of the previously mentioned network’s cartoons) or dirty way so that your average 20-something might learn something without actually realizing it.
Even though all the recipes have fuuny/dirty names (eg. “Miso Horny Cod”, “Eggs Whorentine”, “Frisky Krispies”) they are relatively simple and sound quite tasty. I speak from first-hand experience that the recipes are definitely better food than your average 20-something single guy is cooking. All the recipes also include accurate beverage pairings which is quite impressive.
A chapter on “aphrodisiacs” compares ingredients to drugs (eg. “Ginger = Viagra”, “Rosemary = Cocaine”, “Chocolate = Crack”). While not exactly accurate it is a clever way to introduce basic culinary concepts in a way that would keep a young man interested.
There is also a chapter on cocktails that introduces basic drinks and continues the dirty naming theme. One problem I noticed is that some of the cocktail recipe ingredients are measured out by the bottle instead of by the ounces or shot, which is neither accurate or the most suggestive for responsible drinking.
Cook To Bang is just as much a dating manual as a cookbook. It features discussion on presentation, setting a table and proper music to play before discussing ways to use food in the bedroom.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed Cook To Bang. It’s bawdy, dirty, funny and surprisingly full of culinary basics. I think it would be an excellent introduction to cooking for a gentleman living on his own for the first time.
By Spencer Walker
Suggested retail price: $13.99
Bargain bin price: $2.00
My name is Eric and I am a coffee addict (to which you reply: “Hi Eric.”). I have been drinking coffee since I was little and my Mom would make me her own version of Coffee Milk. Her version was simply a little coffee, a little sugar and a lot of milk, nowhere near the authentic New England Coffee Milk.
I am by no means a coffee “aficionado” or “snob”. I’m at the Gold Star level at Starbucks and buy some of the cheapest coffee at the supermarket for my daily home brewing. My Beverage Management instructor, Chef Bogart, can’t stop talking about Cuvee Coffee, a local roaster served at Houndstooth Coffee.
I decided to check out Houndstooth’s website and noticed that every Monday and Thursday Houndstooth Coffee offers a free public cupping class so last Thursday I decided to check it out. More
The story of Franklin Barbecue reads like an Austin fairy-tale. In 2009, Aaron Franklin started serving his barbecue from a travel trailer from a parking lot in East Austin after tending the smoker all night fueled by espresso and crossword puzzles.
Almost immediately, word of the now legendary barbecue spread through Austin and Aaron was greeted each morning by a line of meat-hungry foodies. Then word traveled across the country via food blogs and soon after, the press came knocking which led to featured articles in The Washington Post, Texas Monthly, and Bon Appetit (which named Franklin the best barbecue in America) and they were highlighted on Cooking Channel.
In 2011, Franklin Barbecue moved to a permanent location and the crowds followed. Recently, Franklin Barbecue was featured on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer. I needed to go. More