Synopses & Reviews
If you're a programmer, hacker, or maker who is interested in learning how to cook, this book is for you. In this book, I'll cover the basics of cooking and provide a number of simple and fun recipes as part of the food hacking experiments, while at the same time exploring the science behind the example recipes to allow you to start discovering your own style.
If you're already comfortable in the kitchen, you'll find this book covers a number of new emerging technologies that are making their way from the lab to the kitchen. A number of these new techniques can be adapted for everyday use to make life in the kitchen easier and allow you to discover new ways of cooking.
Why do some meals turn out great, while others fail? What scientific principles and tools can help guide you in creating new, memorable experiences? And how can you have more fun cooking for friends, coworkers, or a date?
By applying the same tools hackers use in experimenting and debugging technology, this book answers these questions by building up a framework describing what happens in the cooking process. With an understanding of the "why" behind the "what," the complex system of expectations, perceptions, and processes is reduced to a roadmap between the store, kitchen, and table.
Most existing cookbooks are "code," where the reader executes the instructions without knowing how to create new code. If you are an experienced cook, standard cookbooks inspire, remind, and hint at how to produce a meal. However, if you are a novice cook, these same texts fail to explain how to recover when an exception occurs, because the rules-of-thumb and patterns a seasoned chef knows from experience aren't codified as part of recipes.
This book is an excellent and intriguing resource for anyone who wants to experiment with cooking, even if you don't consider yourself a geek.
- Initialize your kitchen and calibrate your tools
- Learn about the important reactions in cooking, such as protein denaturation, Maillard reactions, and caramelization, and how they impact the foods we cook
- Play with your food using hydrocolloids and sous vide cooking
- Gain firsthand insights from interviews with researchers, food scientists, knife experts, chefs, writers, and more, including author Harold McGee, TV personality Adam Savage, and chemist Herve
"My own session with the book made me feel a lot more confident in my cooking." Monica Racic, The New Yorker
"I LOVE this book. It's inspiring, invigorating, and damned fun to spend time inside the mind of 'big picture' cooking. I'm Hungry!" Adam Savage, co-host of Discovery Channel's MythBusters
"In his enchanting, funny, and informative book, Cooking for Geeks (O'Reilly), Jeff Potter tells us why things work in the kitchen and why they don't." Barbara Hanson, New York Daily News
Targeting programmers, hackers, or makers who are interested in learning how to cook, this book covers the basics of cooking and provides a number of simple and fun recipes as part of the food hacking experiments.
About the Author
Jeff Potter has done the cubicle thing, the startup thing, and the entrepreneur thing, and through it all maintained his sanity by cooking for friends. He studied computer science and visual art at Brown University.
Table of Contents
Recipe Index; List of Interviews; Preface; How to Use This Book; On the Web; Acknowledgments; How to Contact Us; Safari® Books Online; Chapter 1: Hello, Kitchen!; 1.1 Think Like a Hacker; 1.2 Cooking for One; 1.3 Cooking for Others; Chapter 2: Initializing the Kitchen; 2.1 Approaching the Kitchen; 2.2 Kitchen Equipment; 2.3 Kitchen Organization; 2.4 Giving Kitchen Tools As Gifts; Chapter 3: Choosing Your Inputs: Flavors and Ingredients; 3.1 Smell + Taste = Flavor; 3.2 Tastes: Bitter, Salty, Sour, Sweet, Umami, Others; 3.3 Adapt and Experiment Method; 3.4 Regional/Traditional Method; 3.5 Seasonal Method; 3.6 Analytical Method; Chapter 4: Time and Temperature: Cooking's Primary Variables; 4.1 Cooked = Time * Temperature; 4.2 Foodborne Illness and Staying Safe Well, safer--there's no such thing as 100% safe.; 4.3 Key Temperatures in Cooking; Chapter 5: Air: Baking's Key Variable; 5.1 Gluten; 5.2 Biological Leaveners; 5.3 Chemical Leaveners; 5.4 Mechanical Leaveners; Chapter 6: Playing with Chemicals; 6.1 Traditional Cooking Chemicals; 6.2 Modern Industrial Chemicals; Chapter 7: Fun with Hardware; 7.1 Sous Vide Cooking; 7.2 Commercial Hardware and Techniques; Cooking Around Allergies; Substitutions for Common Allergies; Afterword; About the Author; Colophon;