Monday, June 17, 2013

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

Duane dealt with the birth of his first child in a unique way: he took over the dinner preparation for his family, but rather than focusing on simple food preparation and nutrition or sustenance he went off the deep-end into obsessive cookbook mania (never repeating the same recipe twice, checking recipes off toward an epic unattainable goal).

This isn't a cookbook - you'll have to find the books Dan's reading to replicate his progress. More, it's a story about his obsessive-compulsive cooking saga and the ups and downs of his life that drive it.

The book's entertaining, and Duane is a smooth, talented writer who blends the cooking mania and food preparation stories into the tale of his personal growth and family life. He twines things together in a rare way: one paragraph of biography on a famous chef may also somehow tell you about the progress of the remodeling of the Duane family home.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and both envied and pitied his wife throughout. Early on in the book (and in their relationship) Liz explains her preference for simple, uncomplicated food - which Dan resolutely and dramatically ignores for years.

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