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Man with a Pan Paperback – May 17, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books (May 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565129857
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565129856
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #610,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Inspirational, heartwarming tales of fathers in the kitchen…An engaging collection that should
inspire comfort for the man who cooks while his baby bangs on the pots and pans.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Throughout the book, what comes across strongest is the authors’ love for the joy of providing for
their families in a newly satisfying way. Mario Batali explains it perfectly: ‘The best reason to cook,
besides its being delicious and good for you, is that it will automatically make you look good. You’ll
look like a hero every day.’ It’s a wonder, in fact, that we let women in the kitchen at all.”—Saveur


“Donohue piles his plate high with writers, chefs, artists, and businessmen to serve up this
multi-author work devoted to modern fathers everywhere…Readers won’t have any trouble
recognizing which pieces came from professional writers and which from stock-exchange gents, but
they will hungrily anticipate each man-with-a-pan’s “signature dish,” placed at the end of his chapter,
along with a recipe and a list of some of his favorite cookery books.”—Booklist
(Library Journal)

"This well-organized compilation breaks free from its tidy package with adaptable, exciting recipes like Beer-Can Chicken, Peanut Butter Soup, Carbonara de Zucchine, and Mexican Chocolate Pie. It trades stereotypes for truisms and is all the more authentic for it. Highly recommended."—Library Journal
(The Daily Beast)

“It’s a really great rhyme, so what’s not to love? This isn’t one of those best-of collections filled with essays that have already been anthologized to death, but an intimate sprinkling of bites and bits put together by John Donohue a New Yorker editor, who says that he does almost all the cooking for his family.”—The Daily Beast
(The Smithsonian)

Man With a Pan: New Yorker editor John Donahoe offers this collection of essays—and yes, a few recipes—in which notable personalities from author Stephen King to chef Mario Batali open up about their foibles and triumphs in the kitchen. If nothing else, it reinforces the idea that learning how to make meals for loved ones is a wonderful way to provide for one’s family.”—The Smithsonian (online)
(USA Today)

“Fathers from chef Mario Batali to novelist Stephen King offer up tips for putting supper on the table.”—USA Today
(Philadelphia Inquirer)

“The book is a clever mixture of food stories from a variety of guys - including Stephen King (with a recipe for Pretty Good Cake, and no one dies) and Bittman himself.”—Philadelphia Inquirer

“Thirty-four writers share their kitchen war stories and their recipes in this delightful anthology, perfect for any dad who's had to whip up a weekday supper.”—Newsday
(Daily Candy)

“For the thinking man/chef, Man with a Pan is an honest collection of essays and recipes by fathers who cook.”—Daily Candy

“[A] delightful story collection by men whose professions (may) involve a lot of writing and who all love to cook.”—Epicurious
(Entertainment Weekly)

“Culinary anecdotes and stories from foodie fathers like chef Mario Batali.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Donohue cleverly peppers the text with funny, sophisticated cartoons, making Man with a Pan uniquely smart and also very useful. A must-have for kitchen-friendly dads, this volume should reap rewards down the road for family appetites everywhere.”—BookPage
(New York Times)

“A rangy, toothsome, timely…collection of essays by kitchen dads…Man With a Pan contains essays (and recipes) by marquee names including Stephen King — isn’t it time he set a scary novel in a Hardee’s? — and Mario Batali. But the best pieces here, the line-caught beauties, are by people you’ve probably barely heard of.”—New York Times
(Largehearted Boy)

“Essays [that] are always entertaining... Man with a Pan can be enjoyed for its culinary essays, its recipes, or its cartoons, but taken as a whole is one of the food books of the year.”—Largehearted Boy
(Wall Street Journal)

“An entertaining look at the widening world of dads-in-the-kitchen.”—Wall Street Journal

About the Author

John Donohue, an editor at the New Yorker, has been passionate about food all his life. He worked at a retail fish market when he was in college and was a short-order cook after graduation. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters. He blogs about the cooking he does for his family at

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
There's Stephen King whose "weapon of choice is the frying pan." As he says, "You can call it sauteing if it makes you feel better - but it's really just educated frying." It seems you can give him a fry pan, a hunk of butter, and he can cook anything. His tips on preparing an omelet are not only on target but as fascinating to read as his fiction. Mario Batali's kids are served monkfish liver and foie gras for breakfast - why not?

We thoroughly enjoyed every story from the dad who managed to cook with a toddler crawling around his ankles to the fellow who simply can't seem to get enough to eat and doesn't understand why everyone isn't the same way.

Each commentary is followed by a recipe or three. These range from the extremely simple to gourmet. Writer John Donohue is also a cartoonist of note and peppers his book with smile producing illustrations ( a favorite shows a torture chamber with the victim bound and at the mercy of a villainous looking fellow who says, "You can stop the pain, Marcel. Just show us how to crust a sea bass."

Don't miss "MAN WITH A PAN"!

- Gail Cooke
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Colleen Peterson on June 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have never described a book as being cute before, but this is a cute book. But, A Man with a Pan - Culinary Adentures of Fathers Who Cook for their Families, is a delightfully cute book. The longer essays by seasoned writers are interspersed with experiences from men "in the trenches", your average dad who works 9 to 5. Each is capped off by a foodie cartoon from the New Yorker, and many have divulged their best recipes along with their favorite food books. As a warning, if you are vegetarian or vegan, some of the descriptions might be a little off-putting, but not so much that they make you sick. Still, all of the stories are told with a real frankness about the desire to cook and the love of good foodstuffs. I would definitely recommend this book as quick, summertime read.

You could eat this book up in delightful snack sized bits or in four course meal style. These short essays are written by men who cook for their families; how they started to cook, why they like to cook, plus the troubles and tribulations of cooking for kids. It can really be read as an anthropology lesson on what it meant to become a man after the first wave of feminism in the 60's. The fact that this book was made at all is a testament to how men in the kitchen is still seen as gender-bending. But, thankfully, you see the generational differences in norms from the various men's stories; The older writers were likelier to talk about how their fathers never even entered the kitchen, while the younger ones often write that they learned to cook from their fathers. The men discovered they could 'find themselves' in the kitchen. They also discovered that they could make the lovers in their lives happy by taking on some of the chores in the house.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By pamelathompsonblogger on March 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
Man With a Pan
edited by John Donohue
326 pages

This is a great gift for upcoming Father's Day or any man's/boy's birthday:

Humorous, touching, quirky, and comforting, Man With a Pan is a satisfying collection of twenty-one famous authors' and cooks' stories of their own cooking adventures for their families. Throw in Mario Batali and season well with some spicy Stephen King and you have a great simmering pot of literary and culinary "tales of fathers who cook for their families."

I truly enjoyed reading tales of woe and tales of human kindness. From Sean Wilsey, living in NYC when the World Trade Center was hit on 9/11, he says, "the first thing I did was boil a pot of pasta. I made ravioli at ten thirty in the morning....and began to grasp what was happening." Pasta, it seems, helps in a crisis, even one as huge as that horrific event in American history. Each father/cook shares his favorite recipes and what's on his culinary bookshelf as well. Foodies will be sure to devour their stories and want to try their hand at some of the recipes. An interesting recipe that sounds delicious from Wilsey is "Pistachio Pesto" which I wouldn't even consider a pesto since there's no basil. He substitutes Bottarga di muggine which is gray mullet roe available on the web or in Italian specialty stores.

From Daniel Moultroup, recipes include an easy recipe for pickles and how to can fresh tomato sauce; from Christopher Little--a delicious sounding Low Country Boil featuring sausage, crawfish, shrimp and beer. Stephen King gives directions on the proper care of cooking an omelet with only a few expletives and how to prepare fish in the microwave, yes...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anne Swenson on July 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fun summer read for a friend who loves to cook. The cartoons were an unexpected bonus. Interesting, well-known people sharing their culinary experiences.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a really great idea.I got one of these for my sons and now when I get home from work, I will be the one to ask "What's for dinner?" Easy tasty meals.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Each chapter features a different author telling their unique story of becoming a man with a pan. Great read for young and old cooks.
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