Synopses & Reviews
For many of us the idea of healthy eating equals bland food, calorie counting, and general joylessness. Or we see the task of great cooking for ourselves as a complicated and expensive luxury beyond our means or ability. Now Peter Kaminsky—who has written cookbooks with four-star chefs (for example, Daniel Boulud) and no-star chefs (such as football legend John Madden)—shows us that anyone can learn to eat food that is absolutely delicious and doesn’t give you a permanently creeping waistline.
Just a couple years ago, Kaminsky found himself facing a tough choice: lose weight or suffer the consequences. For twenty years, he had been living the life of a hedonistic food and outdoors writer, an endless and luxurious feast. Predictably, obesity and the very real prospect of diabetes followed. Things had to change. But how could he manage to get healthy without giving up the things that made life so pleasurable? In Culinary Intelligence, Kaminsky tells how he lost thirty-five pounds and kept them off by thinking more—not less—about food, and he shows us how to eat in a healthy way without sacrificing the fun and pleasure in food.
Culinary Intelligence shows us how we can do this in everyday life: thinking before eating, choosing good ingredients, understanding how flavor works, and making the effort to cook. Kaminsky tells us what we need to give up (most fast food and all junk food) and what we can enjoy in moderation (dessert and booze), but he also shows us how to tantalize our tastebuds by maximizing flavor per calorie, and he makes delectably clear that if we eat delicious, flavorful foods, we’ll find ourselves satisfied with smaller portions while still enjoying one of life’s great pleasures.
"After his insurance company refused to renew his life insurance policy because of his weight and possible diabetes, Kaminsky (Pig Perfect: Encounters with Remarkable Swine) began 'putting Culinary Intelligence into practice.' Rather than 'forgo health on the one hand, or hedonism on the other,' his 'truly insatiable appetite for the pleasures of the table' and his 'equally strong urge to survive' resulted in the refinement of his dietary habits. He assails the American diet as a 'food culture based on industrially processed ingredients and the unholy trinity of sugar, salt, and fat.' His 'one guiding principle' is to maximize 'Flavor per Calorie': choose ingredients for optimum flavor, and prepare with the 'goal of intensifying that flavor,' and you will be 'satisfied while eating less.' There are no dietary revelations, but Kaminsky's approach separates itself from other regimens that prescribe certain foods for certain meals. Although nongastronomes may find the subject mundane, his historical and scientific insight into the evolution of food and his wit make it palatable for all." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Peter Kaminsky wrote Underground Gourmet for New York magazine for four years, and his Outdoors column appeared in The New York Times for twenty years. He is a longtime contributor to Food & Wine, and the former managing editor of National Lampoon. His books include Pig Perfect: Encounters with Remarkable Swine, The Moon Pulled Up an Acre of Bass, The Elements of Taste (with Gray Kunz), Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way (with Francis Mallmann), Letters to a Young Chef (with Daniel Boulud), Celebrate! (with Sheila Lukins), and John Madden’s Ultimate Tailgating. He is a creator and executive producer of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, on PBS.