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