You know those outstanding programming books? The ones where writer’s style is clear, informative, and engaging? Where the scope of coverage is neither too narrow nor too broad? Where you can just sense that the author is a talented and enthusiastic expert in his/her field? Where you just get caught up in the learning process, and hate to put the book down?
I never thought I’d have a similar experience reading a cooking book. Happily, Jeff Potter’s “Cooking for Geeks” gave me the exact same experience.
The whole “geek” approach has made cooking accessible and interesting to me in a way that other books just haven’t been able to do. I particulalrly enjoyed the “Initializing the Kitchen” section, in particular; in the past, I’ve felt overwhelmed by the sheer variety and unfamiliarity of the seemingly-infinite number of kicthen tools and utensils available. The book provides a systematic, logical examination of the tools you’ll need, what their benefits/uses are, and recommendations on solid, relaible brands.
As the reader progresses to actual cooking, Potter does an excellent job of presenting the “why” along with the “how”. How do taste and smell work, and how does that influence recipes and cooking techniques? What are the chemical reactions involved in cooking, and how do we harness them to create yummy concoctions?
Now, my brain is “geek-wired”, and Potter’s approach neatly meshes with my information processing style, but I’m confident in predicting that *anyone* interested in learning their way around the kitchen will find this book extremely enjoyable and useful.
Note: O’ Reilly was kind enough to provide a review copy of this title as part of their blogger review program.