Jamie's Reviews > I'm Just Here for the Food: Version 2.0

I'm Just Here for the Food by Alton Brown
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's review
Dec 26, 2008

it was amazing
Read in December, 2007

For many years I've been addicted to the off-beat cooking show filled with unabashed geekery known far and wide as Good Eats on food network. I feel a certain kinship with Alton Brown. He's from north Georgia, an unashamed geek, and he loves food of all kinds but has a deep love of true local cuisine and road-food. (This idea is explored in his "Feasting" documentaries for the last three years.) And his show has revealed knowledge of everything from Star Trek to Lord of the Rings to the Terminator franchise. Earlier this year I got to meet him when he lectured at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, and he was as interesting, funny, and genuine in person as he comes across on television.

I was thrilled, therefore, when a while back my wife got me his first couple of cookbooks. I scored the second edition of I'm Just Here for the Food and was really impressed that A.B. took the same inventive approach to a book on cooking as he does on his show. It's full of asides, margin notes, humor, and excellent use of illustration. It takes what could be a boring trip down culinary lane and makes it as fun and interesting as cooking is for those of us who have the "like to cook" gene.

A.B. is all about making things make sense, understanding "why" certain things are standards in the kitchen world. Along the way he debunks various rituals and myths that have nothing to do with reality. (Yes, you CAN rinse your mushrooms instead of brushing them. No, searing meat does NOT seal in juices.) Add a bunch of really tasty recipes and the know-how to modify them or just play in the kitchen.

I recommend this book, along with his other writings. Get in the kitchen and have some fun.

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