Men's Cooking Manual: A No-nonsense Guide to Buying, Making and Eating Great Food Hardcover – 6 May 2010
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- Haynes Manual
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About the Author
Chris Maillard has been a journalist for years and has worked on magazines including Maxim and Top Gear. He's also wildly keen on food and cooking, and thanks to launching Restaurant magazine he has eaten some of the world's finest food and met many top chefs.
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm impressed by its no-nonsense approach to the mechanics of cooking and I'm actually going to get hold of another copy for myself as there's some really useful information here - cooking times, techniques etc - that's laid out in a really sensible way. Admittedly it's not for the puffed-up-know-it-all-gourmand but for me, a keen but technically flawed male cook that can follow a basic recipe and likes to cook for my wife when I get a chance, it's a very useful volume.
As for my son I've explained to him that he's very welcome to survive the next three years at college on a diet of tinned tuna, cheese and pasta but any women that's he's going to try to pull is going to be a lot more impressed by a man that can actually cook a real meal - this book has everything to show him how.
To get an idea of the writing style... "Even if a man has never so much as reheated some Ready Brek, they've somehow supposed to be able to barbecue. It's in our genes, apparently. This is cobblers. Barbecuing is better if you think about it a bit" and the chapter goes on to offer excellent snippets of advise on how to barbecue different things and get the most out of that rusty old device.
About 60% of the book is recipes, all easy and straight forward, many involve beer (2 pints - one to test and one to pour in). Once I read it, without having to refer to it at all, I was able to produce a highly credible Spag Bol, without burning myself, cutting a finger or ruining my expensive watch.
This is the Yorkie Bar of Cook Books, just get it!
But it was good enough that I went out and got a second copy.
Unfortunately, it is often written in the style of a pisspoor FHM column: lots of ooga-ooga alpha-male talk about 'danger' and 'pulling' and 'booze' and so on.
Get past these linguistic gripes - I sense that even Maillard felt uncomfortable crowbarring them in - and underneath it's a marvel of simplicity and clarity.
As a reference work, as a foundation course, as a font of easy ideas, Men's Cooking is great. It gives you perhaps fifty of the most elementary, most common and useful recipes you'll need to keep yourself fed.
There's a wonderful section upfront focusing on various chopping techniques, oven times, scaling fish, separating eggs, seasonality, on the art of shopping, on fridge-management, and tool-selection: all the stuff that you're otherwise assumed to know in most cookbooks. He has a knack for busting down complexities into an easy to follow roadmap: like the bit where he points out that paella and risotto are essentially the same thing, and so teaches the elements of each simultaneously, and only then offers the variations. Throughout, Maillard gives you the building blocks, then plenty of suggestions on how to to go further.
The meals themselves are OK: Gordon Ramsay's lasagne is definitely superior, and the curry's a little one-note. But as a book that, in that Haynes manual way, cross-sections its subject, to make it easy-to-understand and effective, this is excellent.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this as an introduction to cooking for my son, who is not that interested in cooking up a dish. However, being a car enthusiast, the front cover was an instant hit. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Linda Dandy
Bought as a gift for a man that's hopeless in the kitchen. The recipes are labelled in skill level and most have cheeky comments in them. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jenny
Just what I was looking for! Car mad boyfriend who is sooo difficult to buy for. Tied up both his hobbies- cars and cooking, love the style and I can't wait for him to open it on... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer