It’s a little black book. Perhaps not THE little black book containing possibly incriminating information, but it does still hold within its covers tips and hints to encourage a successful social life, or at least it does if you are an eligible chap with a kitchen. It’s the only cookbook I have come across that has a quote from The Godfather – and that sets the tone for the book.
Recipes Every Man Should Know is an unashamedly sexist wee tome but that sexism is laced with such wry humour that we can’t be offended. It offers food as a tool with which to go a-wooing. Nothing too adventurous, but lots of standards including breakfast recipes for those mornings after the previous night’s culinary triumphs.
The dishes do have a blokey bias but that will be the appeal. Beer Bread from this book is liable to sound a bit more achievable than a brioche from any other cookbook. A simple, quick and easy preparation which gives six servings. It could become a favourite accompaniment to the Beef Stew or even the Beef and Beer Chilli. Perhaps you might not be hearing “I gotta stay home tonight to ice some cupcakes” but “Gotta get home to finish the Jambalaya before me mates come over” could well be on the cards. Men who can cook will be popular with both their football buddies and the cheer-leaders.
Recipes Every Man Should Know is a funny but practical book. I wouldn’t expect a woman to be giving this to the man in her life but a thoughtful sister might give it as a gift to her still-single brother. A guy would consider this as a birthday gift for a pal who is still lonesome, and there are many men who might feel this volume would be a solid investment for their own future. Perhaps it could be subtitled: ‘The way to a woman’s heart’, or ‘Dress the salad to impress’, or ‘Baking for the boss’.
Recipes Every Man Should Know is an amusing read, but the recipes are truly made for the novice cook. Nothing frilly and complicated, although it does offer a Lobster dish for that special fancy dinner. A great stocking-filler for the holidays, and a change from socks.
Recipes Every Man Should Know
Authors: Susan Russo and Brett Cohen
Published by: Quirk Publications Inc.
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018