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4.6 out of 5 stars
Eat Like a Man: The Only Cookbook a Man Will Ever Need
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95 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
If you're a guy and watch Top Chef, Iron Chef America, Chopped or any number of cooking shows, you'll find yourself instantly attracted to this book. Tom Colicchio, Mario Batali, Ted Allen, Michael Symon... you're going to recognize many of the chefs who have recipes featured, but if you've never attempted one of their recipes and are looking to learn technique, you'll most likely find yourself a bit disappointed in the long run as I was.

The premise is solid. I found myself saying; "I'm a man, I like to eat meat, I know who these guys are!" SOLD. Except for sides, just about every recipe here features heavily with a manly protein. Plan to eat much beef and pork if you work through the book in its entirety.

The main problem is inconsistency and lack of a clear vision towards a target audience. I was under the impression that this book catered to men who were not regular cooks but wanted to be able to make satisfying meals that were simple, but delicious and satisfying. The difficulty rating supports that notion. Recipes are "Easy," "Reasonable," or "Worth the Effort." Unfortunately, "Worth the Effort" includes recipes such as Butter-Poached Bone-In Top Loin and "Reasonable" is a Ratatouille Risotto. The difficulty of many recipes will seem overwhelming to those of you who are not more adventurous or experienced. Depending on how adventurous your palate is as well, you may find many of the recipes to be overdone, as many of them have their unique "twist." Recipes seem to go from insultingly simple, to overzealously complex. There isn't much middle ground. If you want a solid Mac & Cheese recipe, there's only two choices in the book. A 3 ingredient Macaroni Pie, or the overdone Truffled Macaroni and Cheese. Some recipes include ground-up instructions for all components of a dish, some call for out of the box mixes and other shortcuts.

I think my biggest disappointment though is it is not a good working cookbook. This isn't a book you can put up in your kitchen and easily read from while trying to make a recipe. The attractive layout is pleasing to the eye, but not well structured for step-by-step instructions. It makes a better read for inspiration and you'll need to transcribe recipes to a better working format if you don't want to memorize the more complex ones. If you need instruction on technique, you'll find it is lacking. Most recipes assume you know how cooking staples such as how to poach, recognize the difference between mincing and dicing and none of the steak recipes are supplemented with any solid pointers on how to properly cook steak. Not a problem if you are experienced, just not helpful if you're a guy looking to learn how to cook. Its not a bad book by any stretch, just inconsistent and not a great working cookbook for those of us who are less experienced. I definitely plan on trying Michael Symon's meatloaf, Harold Dieterle's Chicken Parm Hero and Tom Colicchio's Steak and Potatoes. Oh, and if you want desserts, go elsewhere. Fruit Crisp is the only dessert in the book, I guess they decided dessert is a woman's thing?

Still, I enjoyed the book for its non-recipe content. There are excerpts from previous Esquire interviews, contributions on cheese and wine and other tidbits that provide more than just a book of recipes and that help give it that "Esquire" feel.

PS - the book includes a subscription to Esquire. If you don't want the subscription, you can opt for a $5 refund on the cost of the book with the inserted card by 12/31/2011.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I love cookbooks like this. Admittedly, it's not the most educational cookbook out there (in terms of technique), but I don't think it's supposed to be. It's the kind of book you can come home to, open to a random page and use to rustle up something delicious before crashing in front of the tv. That's not to say there aren't some sophisticated recipes in there, but I've always felt that a cookbook should first and foremost allow you to tap into the inner cook, the guy who glances at the book once and again but relies on instinct to really make a meal happen. And the simpler, rustic recipes in this book bring that out in me every time I've used it (which is every night for the past week by the way).

The other cool thing is all the articles that are included in between recipes: interviews with world class chefs (Boulud, Batali), panegyrics on meat and cheese - it's music to mine ears (eyes?). It's humorously written and most importantly, it doesn't take itself too seriously, which is the hallmark of a worthy cookbook. I may not read every word of it but again it's not Mastering the Art of French Cooking, it's fun, easy recipes with delectable results. Does a man (or a woman for that matter) need much else?

And lastly, I'm a firm believer in the power of food porn, and the photos in this book are not kidding around. I would buy it for them alone. Absolutely mouthwatering. Anyway, definitely worth the buy - a great companion for a man and his kitchen.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
My husband isn't much of a chef, but he loves to get down and dirty once in a while with chili, steaks, burgers, bacon, anything that can be served in enormous portions, with the game on in the background. This book is the best for that. While I wouldn't call it a beginner's handbook, the recipes pose challenges that my husband can willingly take on for the love of the meal at the other end. Consistent with the column in Esquire, this cookbook offers the kind of food my husband dreams about when he's really hungry, and now he can actually make it himself and tell stories about it later. Very cool. I can't wait to give it to him for Father's Day from his two baby girls.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The book is fun to read and contains great recipes, especially for meat lovers and the like. It is a manly guide to food as the title says. Excerpts from the magazine's interviews with famous chefs are included as well as helpful tips on how to entertain guests at home. From the Italian breakfast sandwich to Harold Dieterle's Chicken-parm Hero with Sausage, your palate is sure to be pleased.

Though basic knowledge is required to approach some of these recipes, most of them are easy to make and their instructions are very clear.

My girlfriend complains I always make the same food. This book has given me some interesting ideas to spice up my cooking repertoire. Additionally, it provides some not-to-miss cocktail recipes to entertain your friends while they wait for your culinary "masterpieces" --like braised beef short ribs with roasted potatoes (check p.102, they are phenomenal!).

This isn't the most innovative kitchen bible, it's what a man's book should be: a fun tool for those who want to satisfy their stomachs, and occasionally impress their guests with great food without being a Michelin-star chef.

If you are still trying to figure out what to get your dad for Father's Day, maybe this time he will not receive another tie from you --he already has plenty, stop it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
We got this as a gift for my Dad for Father's Day and he absolutely loved it, made the short rib recipe that night. At this point we've all read it cover to cover and each recipe is more mouth watering than the next. I've already tried out the mac & cheese and am trying to work up the courage for the Coca Cola Brined Fried Chicken. It is such a cool book and I love the side bars about making the perfect sandwich and eating with my father. It's a great gift for my dad, but I also really just want it for myself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A mouth watering read - I like how the rating system gives you an idea of what to expect, in terms of preparation, for each recipe - gives those who are a little timid in the kitchen confidence to believe they will succeed at making something delicious and a little more adventurous in the kitchen. I also gave this book to both of my brothers - they totally dig it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Have followed the recipes in Esquire over the years and was happy to see them put into book form.
Purchased two and made two young men very happy.

Highly recommend

Amazon pricing and ease of purchase made it helpful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I bought this book for several male friends for Christmas. They all loved it! It is cleverly written and they recipes look delicious.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It's more than just another cookbook--it's filled not only with recipes but with great essays about the intersection between cooking and being a guy. My wife gave it to me for my birthday, and then--despite her initial skepticism--spent the next several days reading it. You should buy one for yourself, then buy a few copies to give to your friends, your dad, etc.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've been pulling recipes out of Esquire for years and finally I have them all in one place. Or, er, my husband does. I gave it to him for Christmas (early) and it's already a hit. I love the "difficulty" meter for each recipe. Instructions are clear and if last night's bourbon and brown-sugar salmon is any indication - 2012 is going to be a great year of eating!
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