Marie’s Reading: “Man with a Pan: Culinary Adventures of Fathers Who Cook for Their Families”

While I wouldn’t call myself a foodie by any stretch, I do enjoy essays about food and cooking.  I read food writing partly to learn more about different cuisines, partly to get ideas for my own cooking, and partly to enjoy the schadenfreude of stories about cooking gone wrong.

These essays don’t necessarily contain anything groundbreaking, but they are fun, with writers ranging from Mario Batali to Stephen King.  They are also not necessarily all about fathers cooking for their families, either, though that seems to be the prompt for most of them.   Mostly it’s men from different professions and walks of life talking about their relationships with food, so it’s very easy to enjoy and maybe even identify with each piece.

My favorite part of this book was the list of recommended/favorite cookbooks that each contributor included at the end of his essay.  There’s a wealth of further reading to be found here!

In this our era of Foodies and Blogs, there is no shortage of folks writing books about cooking, about food, and about their adventures with both.  Julie Powell’s very popular Julie and Julia, which chronicles her year of cooking her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is a fun read that is mostly about a personal journey and partly about learning about food.  I also thought of Far Flung and Well-Fed: The Food Writing of R.W. Apple Jr, for food writing on a professional level that’s not lacking in style and voice.  Anything by Ruth Reichl, perhaps especially Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table, might appeal to readers who enjoy personal stories blended with stories of cooking and family.

There are also LOTS of cookbooks to choose from for folks who want to continue their education.  You can start with the recommendations in Man With a Pan, or you can come on down to the library and browse through the 641’s in the At Home section. 



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