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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on December 16, 2012
The 4-Hour Chef is a great and massive book, but just like The 4-Hour Body, it's often filled with stories that won't really help you in any shape or form and only serve to make the book look much longer than it actually is.

The advices are amazing, mind you. They're comprehensive, simple, and really easy to follow, but I felt like there was still a lot of fluff talk and the book could've easily been 100 or 200 pages shorter without losing anything of value.

Would definetly recommend!
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on March 25, 2013
As someone with severe ADHD reading this book made my brain ache, it's informative, insightful, witty and a complete unmitigated mess. The literary version of a having a migraine while being locked in a drum and a very angry person with a hammer trying to open it all at the same time....maddening. Whoever edited, and copy wrote this should take less psychotropic substances while doing their job....

So it starts at the beginning( I am still not sure how I made it past page 100 but I was intrigued) with a foundation on the authors approach to learning disparate skills using compressed learning. Ok great I like learning new things too, why not double dip. The anecdotal detours can be a little odd but have a point...then we get a warning "other cook books start by telling you to buy all this expensive crap you shouldn't have to buy"(paraphrased) and then proceeds to tell you the authors approved and essential list of expensive things he wants you to buy( with some alternatives that can be considered economical) and the list comes at quite a hefty sum once you add it all up(500$ blender, 400$ sous vide bath, 150$ knife,) it was a little much, not for me I personally had most of the items already, it was the hypocrisy it was just not needed and left a bad feeling.....

And that feeling was justified by the ENTIRE "Wild" section, I bought what I thought was at its base a guide to help me be a better cook, maybe a healthier one...what use would I have with an entire section devoted to outdoor survival, firearms, legal explosives, hunting knives, along with the varied ways to kill small fowl with my bare hands, and how to eviscerate and quarter my very own freshly shot deer!!!!! And where I need to go to find said deer and which gun I should shoot them with.....it became a little surreal at this point....then the last section swung firmly back to fine dining, like I just hadn't read "how to catch a pigeon in the city and totally not kill it, but here's a guide on how to dismember and rip it apart WITH MY ONLY MY THUMBS!!!!!!!" WTF!!!!!

The cooking part was ok, if brief and a little condescending...but what the rest of it was I am still puzzled, did he want me to buy an arsenal and move to the forest to feast on freshly killed woodland creatures as part of becoming a better chef???? My head hurts...
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on April 12, 2013
Except for the detailed step by step instructions (got some tips for my personal teaching approach), this book reminds me of travelling in India. You never know what will happen next and there is a loosened association kind of approach to all things that Tim would like to share! I had fun reading this and learned a few things for myself as a somewhat decent home cook (I teach Ayurvedic cooking classes but I'm not a confident cook-yet!). It was in our public library and so I didn't buy it but I had fun reading it and getting a glimpse into a very enthusiastic and intense mind! I now know how to catch and render (eww) a pigeon and how to make a shelter in woods if lost. These things are basic skills that we as convenience loving humans forget. I am a curious reader so if someone is taking me on a journey where I am learning something useful, I'll bite. The first recipe is bound to give confidence to a meat eating cook. I can understand the negative reviews from people who want a Cookbook or who are used to a linear approach-I like that too-but this is not quite that. This is a different approach from someone who is bursting at the seams with stuff to teach.
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on September 4, 2013
In a word: Comprehensive.

Tim manages to inspire, educate and humble us with his willingness to go the extra 1000 miles to obtain all the information and know how we want to learn but don't believe we have time to or simply don't have the confidence to attempt. I will reread this book again and again, I have begun apling sticky notes (you will also). Are you a tentative or just bad swimmer? Boom! Fixed. Are you scared of language learning and are just not sure where to start? Problem solved. The dry brine steak recipe (Sexy Steak) is almost worth the purchase alone. I can tell you what my friends and family will be getting for X-mas. I also highly recomend his other 2 books; 4HB and 4HWW.
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on December 11, 2012
Very interesting book, covering far more than just cooking. It is basically "how to be good at anything, using cooking as an example". It is hard not to be motivated after reading this book.
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on April 5, 2013
This book is incredible. Much like the 4-hour body, it is one of those encyclopaedias that you may never read cover to cover, but that you can pick up and turn to any page for an interesting read and some hugely useful information, be it an amazing recipe, a kitchen hack, or tips on constructing a lean-to shelter...
There is so much great content in this book, and the recipes are actually as easy and delicious as promised. Try out the MLBJ and tell me I'm wrong.
There are too many good things to say about this book and its diverse contents. Just buy it.
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on July 16, 2014
Brilliant book, it teaches you SO much more then just dishes, and the ones it does teach have a purpose; to teach you a specific skill required to become a competent chef.

All the other sections, including hunting and how to break down your kill, eating insects and a practical guide to meta learning really keep you interest up.

You should absolutely buy this, especially if you liked 4 Hour Work Week or 4 Hour Body.
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on May 5, 2015
If you want to win MasterChef or become a professional chef then you need this book. Dont go to culinary school - instead buy this book, spend all the money on the tools and follow the directions to shortcut your culinary career. Tim also tells you exactly how to take these skills to any high end restaurant in town and get yourself hired. I'll say it again - Dont go to culinary school, at least until after you've read this book!
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on April 7, 2013
This book is not only for cooks, or foodies. It is an expresion of somebody who doesn't know what to do with his exceptional brain. This looks like life placed author into situations, places, where he is using his abilities with unusual skill. The book is OK, but not as a cookbook. It has many informations for survivalists, campers, hunters, outdoorsmen and for people with brain working on high gears.
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on January 26, 2013
It may be called the 4-hour chef, but the book takes more than four hours just to read! It is an excellent reference book, not only for the beginning cook, but also for those of use who've been passionate about cooking for a long time. There are plenty of pictures showing specific techniques, and the author's focus on always being efficient really resonated with me.
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