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May 19 , 2009

How to Cook Like a Man

A Memoir of Cookbook Obsession


Daniel Duane was a good guy, but he wasn't what you might call domestic. Yet when he became a father, this avid outdoorsman was increasingly stuck at home, trying to do his part in the growing household. Inept at so many tasks associated with an infant daughter, he decided to take on dinner duty. He had a few tricks: pasta, soy-sauce-heavy stir-fry... actually, those were his only two tricks. So he cracked open one of Alice Waters's cookbooks, and started diligently cooking his way through it. When he was done with that, there were seven more Waters cookbooks, plus those by Tom Colicchio, Richard Olney, Thomas Keller... and then he was butchering whole animals in his cluttered kitchen.

How to Cook Like a Man might be understood as the male version of Julia and Julia. But more than chronicling a commitment to a gimmick, it charts an organic journey and full-on obsession, exploring just what it means to be a provider and a father. Duane doesn't just learn how to cook like a man; he learns how to be one.

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