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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My kind of cook book
Reminiscent of the "Good Eats" TV series, this book delves into the whys and wherefores of food and cooking rather than simply presenting instructions and a pretty picture (though there's a bit of that too). Armed with this knowledge, it's possible to then hack recipe "code" to suit your resources and tastes.
With geeky tips such as how to calibrate your oven with...
Published on 5 Sep 2010 by Shazzer

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read
There's a lot of good technical information in there but it takes a lot of finding. Lots of repetitions, lots of interviews with people answering the same questions over and over. If you like a good read, it's for you, if you want to quickly find technical answers to cooking questions, there are better publications.
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My kind of cook book, 5 Sep 2010
By 
Shazzer (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
Reminiscent of the "Good Eats" TV series, this book delves into the whys and wherefores of food and cooking rather than simply presenting instructions and a pretty picture (though there's a bit of that too). Armed with this knowledge, it's possible to then hack recipe "code" to suit your resources and tastes.
With geeky tips such as how to calibrate your oven with sugar and the Optimal Cake-Cutting Algorithm for N People, info on how much whipping will turn your cream to butter, and any amount of the science behind how foods react to the application of heat over time, this book really lives up to its name.
As for how good the recipes are: my fussy four year old declared the buttermilk pancakes the "most delicious things I've ever eaten" and asked for seconds and thirds.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dont just make food, create food, 16 Nov 2010
When you think about geeks, you rarely think about them cooking; most people instantly imagine them with pizzas or crisps, not in front of ovens. Jeff Potter, the author, explains why most geeks are shy of kitchens. Being a geek himself, he explains cooking in software development terms; compiling food, defining vegetable variables, overclocking the oven, and looking at recipes as source code. He explains everything with a sense of humour that is a joy to read. This book had me hooked right from the beginning, so when he started to talk about cooking with stuff that can kill you; liquid nitrogen ice cream or electrocuted hot dogs, I couldn't put this book down.

Jeff starts off the book with easy recipes, with the explanation that if you want to learn a programming language, you don't start off by writing an operating system. The same thing goes for cooking; start off small, learn to read a recipe and learn to change elements to suit your style. Source code isn't static; you can always change it to suit your style. Jeff takes you through it step by step, but he goes one step further. Geeks aren't just interested in following steps, they want to know, and need to know why. Why do you need to cook at a certain temperature? Why do you need to add an ingredient before another one? Cooking isn't just about blindly following recipes, its science!

Cooking for Geeks isn't a reference book. Whilst it does contain recipes throughout the book, it isn't a book that you will idly pick up to make a meal for friends. You will learn what sort of a cook you are, and help you focus on what you are good at. It will help you select kitchen hardware depending on who you are and on what you want to do. It will help you prepare and calibrate your tools, especially your oven. Once you are comfortable with the basics, you learn more advanced techniques, finishing with some extreme science. Scattered throughout the book are short recipes to keep you curious, clear illustrations and interviews and contributions from famous geeks or scientists (notably Adam Savage from Mythbusters and Tim O'Reilly, the CEO of the publisher).

One of the many things I loved about this book is the fact that all weights, temperatures and measurements are in both imperial and metric, meaning that everyone can dive in straight away.

I knew how to do basic stuff in the kitchen before reading this book, but never really enjoyed cooking. For me, it was just to prepare a basic meal, something I had done over and over. After reading this book, I have a whole new view on my kitchen. I now know exactly why I need to use a particular tool, and find myself really enjoying preparing food. I now understand why I need to cook at a certain temperature, but more importantly, this book has also awoken my curiosity. Yes, you can be a geek and a cook at the same time. However, this book isn't just for people who don't know cooking, far from it. I showed a chapter to a close friend who is very good in the kitchen, and who can easily make her guests jealous of her cooking skills. She admitted that while she could bake just about anything, the oven was black magic for her. She isn't a geek, but she loved what she read, and she now understands what happens, and more importantly, why.

Don't just make food; understand the science behind cooking, and create food.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift for starting cooks or/and geeks (or any other person), 21 Feb 2011
I bought this book as a gift for our friend. She's already a great young professional cook and she liked this book very much.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marmite, 24 Mar 2011
By 
N. Reynolds (Norwich, UK) - See all my reviews
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Content's decent. Skimps on the basics, but you can Google easily enough.

Condescending as hell, relates everything to programming - look past that, you're rewarded with good information.

Grr. Annoyingly useful.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was a present, 14 Jan 2011
By 
M. Martin (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This was a present for my boyfriend for christmas, hes quite geeky and has also prevously shown an interest in cooking. The book isn't really focused around the recipes although there are some in it, its mostly talking about the science behind the food, and talking about processes in cooking rather than just a list of recipes. The recipes that are in the book are used as case studies.

Overall, very good, my boyfriend was glued to it for quite a while after christmas, and is still refering to it now, even though hes finished the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 8 July 2014
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Ms. A. Lucas - See all my reviews
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Great book to get you thinking about the science behind your cooking!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for anyone interested in cooking, 17 Jun 2014
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I've only flipped through this book so far because I plan to have it as my summer reading tome. But from what I have seen so far, I just can't wait for the holidays!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 8 May 2014
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I brought this as a gift for my partner as he is a chef and he loved it. Very informative and even I found it useful.
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4.0 out of 5 stars stolen!, 26 Feb 2014
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I was supposed to be the geek. But my wife, who is an excellent cook, is constantly dipping into my book, finding unusual facts about food chemistry and history - as well as recipes. Inevitably, the contributors vary in the level of their contributors, but I guess there's something for everyone here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, 14 Feb 2014
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Absoultely fantastic book as a primer into the world of kitchen science also ideal for sciencey people who need to get into the kitchen more and learn the life skill that is cooking. I've bought 2 of these for gifts and have the e-book on my Kindle.

Whilst there are classic books like McGee on Food and Cooking which is all about the science of ingredients and cooking and the 375 Modernist Cuisine which also throws in history, hygine and recipies into the mix this book covers a lot for quite a lot of the same material quickly as well as giving some rather fun ideas to have some science fun in the kitchen.

As well as giving the answers the book also encourages you to experience the results for yourseld by doing experiments and adjust the levels of ingredients of various recipies so you can create your own perfect mix.
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