The 4-Hour Chef: A Ridiculous Guide of Learning Fun Things (Including Cooking)
Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 18:12
Are you interested in cooking, but not that interested in cooking? Maybe you are more interested in mastering a new language or two, and you really only cook because you don’t have a meal plan anymore. Or maybe you just like to read interesting books, and to hell with cooking or speaking anything but English.
I picked up “The 4-Hour Chef” by Timothy Ferriss last December because I was kind of interested in cooking, and I had just graduated (although now I’m back in school) and I had a lot of free time. And by that, I mean I was unemployed and looking for work. So I picked up “The 4-Hour Chef,” thinking it would be a book that could teach me how to cook some things. But it’s really not a book about how to cook. It’s more of this wild collection of life hacks that will teach you how to cook, learn new languages quickly, or learn anything quickly (like that cumulative chemistry final coming up next week). Some of the things Ferriss shows you how to do, you probably shouldn’t do. But it’s sure fun to read about, anyway.
So I learned some neat cooking tricks that I can whip out anytime now. For example, have you ever thought of putting parsley and lemon juice on your scrambled eggs? I hadn’t either, and now it’s my new favorite way to make eggs in the morning. Apparently parsley does something more than look good on the side of your plate. Or do you love the taste of roasted garlic mashed potatoes or cheesy bread like I do? But have you ever actually stuck some garlic in the oven and just roasted it? You’ll be scarfing down clove after clove like they’re cheese curds from the Turf.
I also loved that the book is (for the most part) really health-oriented. Most of the recipes in the book comply with the Slow Carb Diet, focusing on grass-fed beef and other quality meats, legumes and veggies. And there are just some neat tricks to learn like using mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes (it tastes pretty much the same). Or if you want to eat something “fast carb,” like one of those gigantic muffins from the coffee shop, just sprinkle some cinnamon on it. Did you know that cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity in the body, preventing the blood sugar spikes that usually accompany “fast carbs?” And cinnamon goes pretty well with muffins anyway (extra bonus!)
And of course, there are several cooking “adventures” throughout the book in case you get bored. Ever wondered what one of those squirrels on campus would taste like? Ferriss will show you the best way to catch, prepare and cook one. Like the taste of bacon or bourbon whiskey? You can actually infuse the two into one delicious drink. Or have you always wanted to cook bacon inside of a duck inside of a turkey inside of a pig? Maybe not, but just in case you get the urge, all of the instructions are there.
Timothy Ferriss’ “4-Hour Chef” is a million times more fun than any other cookbook you’ve ever picked up. In fact, it’s not really a cookbook; it’s more of a ridiculous guide to learning fun things. And cooking happens to be one of them. If you get bored over Christmas break, or you still haven’t bought any Christmas presents for your friends and family yet, check it out.
Michael is a senior majoring in crop and weed sciences.