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Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food Paperback – Aug 12 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (Aug. 12 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596805888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596805883
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 907 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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.


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Top Customer Reviews

By Jessica Strider TOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 11 2011
Format: Paperback
Pros: a lot of extremely detailed information about cooking methods, equipment, reactions, etc., interviews with people who cook creatively

Cons: not many recipes, some information is well beyond what most cooks will use/need

This is an interesting cookbook. I would consider the first 5 chapters worth reading if you plan to do any cooking and want a better understanding of what's happening or if you like experimenting.

If you REALLY like experimenting the last 2 chapters will be perfect for you. If you don't feel like buying lots of chemicals to try new (and not necessarily edible) things, they're not as
useful.

The cookbook was written specifically for computer geeks who are afraid of doing things in a kitchen. The opening chapter has a lot of references to thinking of cooking techniques with regards to computing. If you don't know computer programming, you might consider this chapter skippable, but you'd miss out on some hidden gems of information, like the difference between all purpose and baking flour (gluten content).

Chapter 2 is an overview of cookware, a chapter I'd normally not find interesting. Here again, there were interesting tid bits of information, like what to look for in knives, how they get teflon to stick to the pan, and a tasty 1-2-3 crepe recipe.

Chapter 3 is where the experiments start. This is not so much a recipe book as it is an experimentation guide. Mr. Potter explains the theory behind something and then gives you a recipe with which to test that theory out. Often there are two recipes to compare and contrast. It's here I found the watermelon feta salad recipe, as an example of how you experience taste. I tried it, and it was very surprising.
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Format: Paperback
This book's message is that anybody can learn to cook, and the best way to start is with knowledge and experimentation. While you have to experiment on your own (the book gives some suggestions), it tries to fill in the knowledge.

My cooking history has been to learn a recipe here, another there, maybe get some tidbits of understanding by asking more experienced cooks. This book was my first systematic introduction to the kitchen, food, and the techniques available to a cook. It has been extremely influential. While more advanced cooks will probably know much of the information, I think most people at the inexperienced to intermediate level can gain tremendously by reading this book, geek or not. And yes, his geekery is unfeigned (which was surprising to me). I wholeheartedly recommend it to anybody who is ready to become a more versatile, creative, and competent cook.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got this book for my 19 year old foodie-daughter. She makes the most amazing dishes, but follows recipes to a tee - afraid to deviate. Now she understands why certain ingredients are required, and how cooking temperature affects the dish.

The perfect book to help less experienced cooks get more experimental.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this for my boyfriend who doesn't cool, and is computer geek. This book spoke his language and made cooking easier for him to understand!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great read! I read this book on the way to cooking school. Not only is it filled with lots of scientific information on the reactions and chemistry of cooking, there is a huge creative element. The experiments and 'hacks' in this book make it a really fun read and show both the science and art of cooking.
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