Review by Kim Murphey
Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food by Jeff Potter is not your average cook book. There are many great recipes covering everything from a Chocolate Port Cake to Duck Confit Sugo. What is unique about this book is the scientific reasons why things do what they do when you cook or mix them together, all written in a fun and informative style.
I have been cooking for years and I learned a lot from this great book. One of the subjects was on smell and taste. I’ve never heard of “supertasters” before. I now know what they are and how to determine if I am one (I’m not but my daughter is). This explains about people’s many different reactions to taste, especially if you have picky eaters at home.
Despite all the experiments with chemicals, dry ice and blow torches (which appeals to some), the recipes and information in this book run from simple to complex. You will learn how to calibrate your oven using sugar, the best kitchen utensils to have, how to cook using sous vide (under vacuum) and so much more. I would recommend this book as a staple in anyone’s kitchen. It might even get those whose idea of cooking is to put a frozen pizza in the oven, to actually try some recipes, even if it’s just for the fun experiments. If you do everything by laptop, the e-book version would be a great addition to your collection too. Just make sure you have a splash guard on that keyboard!
Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Inc.