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

3.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  107 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
When Daniel Duane became a father, this San Francisco surfer and climber found himself trapped at home with no clue how to contribute. Inept at so many domestic tasks, and less than eager to change diapers, he took on dinner duty. Duane had a few tricks: pasta, stir-fry … well, actually, those were his only two tricks. But he had a biographical anomaly: Chef Alice Waters h ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA
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FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I am not the best chef. While my cookbook cabinet houses more than 30 cookbooks, I usually buy them for one or two recipes only. Sometimes I’ll find a cookbook that has many, many good recipes, but even then I’ll only make them once in a blue moon. I tend to prefer simplicity in the kitchen — spaghetti, eggs, soup, etc. I’ve just never had the patience for elaborate recipes, nor do I ha
Ms. Yingling
Jun 19, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it it was ok
This was a perfectly fine book for adults; Duane is a facile writer who can describe food with the best of them (the best being, of course, M.F.K. Fisher!). I love reading food writing, but I hate cooking, and I had an absolutely visceral loathing of this book. Mr. Duane gives the statistic that in a survey of 185 human cultures, women are primarily responsible for cooking in 97.8% of them. This could be because I, unlike Mr. Duane, never considered cooking for my family as some kind of challeng ...more
Kevin Lanahan
May 26, 2012 Kevin Lanahan rated it it was ok
First was Julie and Julia, now this guy decides to cook through...Alice Waters? At least he felt some connection to her, since she was, apparently, his nursery school teacher.

Sorry, I just could not appreciate the obsessive, self-indulgent, excessive tone of this book. The guy's a good writer, to be sure, but he comes across as a spoiled child who's wife enables him to blow a month's worth of groceries on ingredients for a single meal. The whole thing came across as self-centered and elitist.

Jan 22, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it
What I didn't like about this book - the title and the cover. Bad choices on both. Also, a self admitted obsessive personality, there are times I would have came near to throttling him if I was there for some of his hijinks. This book does make me want to read his wife's book, Elizabeth Weil, on their marriage (No Cheating, No Dying).

What I did like. I have been reading Duane since the mid '90's, and still hand out copies of his books on climbing and surfing to friends. He has a casual way of w
Sorry, but I had to give up on this one halfway through. More than half of the book concerns his personal life, which didn't interest me much at all, and much of the rest was general "foodie" stuff, with almost no description of actual cooking projects themselves.
Jul 05, 2012 Michael rated it did not like it
Far too much name/ingredient dropping which really makes it handle to focus on what the author is trying to say. Reads like a series of Men's Journal articles, unfortunately.
Dec 14, 2012 Stephen rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book; it is a pity things didn't work out. Daniel Duane is a food writer, with publications to prove it; he is also a man, with a wife and two daughters to prove it. There are a great many cooking memoirs written by women; not so many by men. I have read sufficiently about chefs who cook during the eighth month of their pregnancy or who breast feed while frying on the line; in Duane's book, I was hoping for something a bit more masculine. The book is well written but ...more
Sep 10, 2012 Jessica rated it did not like it
Shelves: quit-reading
I finally had to stop reading this book. Daniel Duane started cooking more when he and his wife had their first child. Daniel and his wife both worked from home and since she was doing so much breast-feeding and other care for their daughter that Daniel decided he should step up and at least cook dinner every night for them. He decided to work his way through some of Alice Waters cookbooks because she had briefly been his pre-school teacher before she opened Chez Panisse.

I had to stop reading t
Ana Maria Rînceanu
Food is something I need and like, but not something I obsess about. But as a novice when it comes to the kitchen, I wanted to see how guys view cooking since, traditionally, most have never been conditioned since birth to learn the skill. To Daniel Duane, however, cooking is a bit more like an artistic endeavour bordering on obsession. I like how enthusiastic he is about cooking and gaining acceptance and validation for his skills as a cook, but that doesn't make up for the fact that I felt lik ...more
Toby Sorge
Apr 07, 2016 Toby Sorge rated it really liked it
I devoured this book. It was a great journey into learning how to cook. It's a quick read. The high points really resonate with all readers and aspiring chefs. At times the writer spent more time name dropping and his experience does not seem all that relatable. The moments of clarity as he learns his lessons work well.
May 04, 2012 Naomi rated it did not like it
I was so excited that the publisher allowed me to review this book through Netgalley. As I got into the book, my excitement turned into disappointment. What could have been written as a really cool story (as the storyline was really interesting) almost came off as disorganized and wandering to where it was difficult to follow at times. There is also a underlying tone to the book which comes off periodically as being elitist. I was so disappointed with the premise of this book, it could have been ...more
Oct 16, 2012 Caitlin rated it really liked it
A lot of the reviews of this book criticize Duane as pompous so I was wary going into the book but I really, really liked it! I don't cook a lot (more of a restaurant fanatic) so the trials and tribulations of the kitchen were new and entertaining to me. And anything about a man getting into local, gourmet foods is a bit foreign to me and therefore kept me quite entertained. I especially enjoyed the chapter on Duane's foray to Vegas to try all the steakhouse steaks. My friend and I do those kind ...more
Nate Hendrix
Sep 24, 2012 Nate Hendrix rated it it was amazing
A new dad takes over the cooking for his family and chaos insues. He tackles some of the most difficult cookbooks out there, attempting to cook every recipe in each book. He learns a lot and has inspired me to try to improve my skills. He mentions several resturaunts that we will try to go to and several book I want to now read. Several of the books he mentions I have already read and enjoyed.
Christopher Farrell
Sep 10, 2012 Christopher Farrell rated it liked it
Duane likes to use seven words when four would do, but I really enjoyed this book - his last chapter about him and Thomas Keller was just beautiful. The tale from surf bum burritos to high class cooking is a must read for foodies.
Aug 26, 2012 Susan rated it liked it
Throughout the first half of this book I thought the author was obnoxious and felt sorry for his wife. Once he figured out food was for enjoyment and pleasing others he became more tolerable
Apr 05, 2013 Ericka rated it liked it
Reads like an overly long glowing review of Chez Panisse and Alice Waters. Very regional, nothing wrong with that. Interspersed w family anecdotes and notes on being a dad.
Jun 07, 2012 Lance rated it did not like it
If trapped in an airport with NOTHING to do I might try to finish this book. Discussion of his life, and finding I am bored with it, can do better things in the time available.
Apr 22, 2013 Jesse is currently reading it
Really surprised to read so many negative GoodReads reviews on this book... I am almost halfway through this book and think it's great. Really fun and kind of inspiring.
Amy Elizabeth
May 24, 2012 Amy Elizabeth rated it really liked it

I really enjoyed this book with its cookbook obsessed author doing some hilarious and driven menus of gluttony and expensive ingredients.
Jun 07, 2012 Reneeantrosio rated it it was ok
I kept picking this up, wanting to read it, but it was rather tedious. On the other hand, I did finish it........
Sep 08, 2012 Peg! rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Foodies
Recommended to Peg! by: Man on plane (SEA to SF)
Fun, lightweight read by an obsessive-compulsive (& clever) cook.
Neil Aring
May 27, 2013 Neil Aring rated it it was ok
I lost interest quickly. More about obsession than cooking.
Jun 08, 2015 Tgaylord rated it did not like it
Hated it.
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