Cookbook Review

About the Author
    I'm Just Here for the Food: Food + Heat = Cooking is written by Alton Brown. Creator and host of the Food Network's Good Eats program, Brown focuses his efforts less on elaborate recipes and showmanship and more on the science and common sense of the kitchen.
About the Cookbook
    I'm Just Here for the Food is a cookbook that isn't a cookbook. More of an instruction manual for the kitchen, it's filled with the wit and wisdom that Good Eats fans have come to expect from Alton Brown and his approach to cooking. While there are over 80 recipes to tantalize your taste buds and illustrate his methods, Brown focuses most of his attention on how the application of heat affects food's taste, texture and chemical properties. Anyone who wonders about the chemical reactions going on when roasting marshmallows will love reading this book.

    Yup, you read that correctly -- this is definitely one book that begs to be read from cover to cover. That's saying a lot when most books having anything to do with the kitchen are perused at best and more often simply littered with bookmarks on favored recipe spots.

    Instead of splitting his tome into chapters dealing with ingredients -- as cookbooks often are -- Brown tackles a wide variety of techniques, ranging from microwaving to braising. He gives simple explanations of what each technique requires and the advantages and disadvantages with regards to certain types of food. The cooking methods he covers include:

    • Searing
    • Grilling
    • Roasting
    • Frying
    • Boiling
    • Braising
    • Brining
    • Sauces
    • Eggs -- we'll get to that in minute
    • Microwaving

    Okay, I know you're dying to know why Brown gave eggs their own chapter. Pure versatility would appear to be the answer. While he may have taken it a bit far, it's hard to argue with the flexibility of the humble egg and, for his purposes, Brown does an excellent job of making masterpieces from simple ingredients, good tools and a bit of understanding about them.

    If you're looking for a better understanding of what's going on when you put a pan on the stove, heat it and add food to the mix, this book is for you. If you enjoy a little humor while you're learning, you'll be even more pleased with this find. Rarely do good recipes, good ideas and good humor find themselves in the pages of a single book. I'm Just Here for the Food is just such a book.

Where to Buy
    If you are interested in purchasing I'm Just Here for the Food by Alton Brown, you can buy it at a 30% discount or more online right now by clicking here. The publisher's list price for the cookbook is $32.50.