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Food 2.0: Secrets from the Chef Who Fed Google Hardcover – April 21, 2008
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In a cutting edge cookbook for the Internet generation, Google’s legendary founding super-chef, Charlie Ayers, tells you everything you need to know about the newest nutrition buzzword: brainfood. He outlines the basics on how the right foods can transform your mind and body, and then teaches you how to stock your kitchen with the healthiest foods available. Raw, organic, and fermented is Charlie’s mantra, which is reflected in more than 90 easy-to-prepare recipes, whether it’s a Kick-start Breakfast, a Power Lunch, or a Light, Bright Dinner. And, following the world-famous formula Charlie used at Google headquarters, the meals and snacks are designed to feed your brain exactly what it needs at different points throughout the workday. From hipsters looking to think more creatively to high-fliers who need that extra edge for success to new moms and dads, looking to repair the damage of myriad sleepless nights, Food 2.0 has the recipe for delicious food for sharper thinking no matter who you are or what you do.
From Food 2.0: Secrets from the Chef Who Fed Google: Lamb Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce
Cook Time: 68 minutes
1 lb (450g) good-quality ground lamb
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
4 artisan-style hard rolls
4 small handfuls of baby spinach leaves
For the marinated onions
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp unrefined light brown sugar
For the sauce
2 inch (5cm) piece of English cucumber, coarsely grated
¼ cup Greek-style plain yogurt
¼ tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
Put the lamb in a bowl and add the garlic, cloves, cumin, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Mix with your hands until well combined, then shape into four burgers. Chill until ready to cook.
Mix the red onion with the vinegar and sugar. Let marinate while you prepare the sauce. Squeeze the cucumber to remove excess moisture, then mix with the yogurt, garlic, mint, and a little salt and pepper. Chill.
When ready to eat, heat a ridged cast-iron grill pan. Sprinkle burgers with a little kosher salt and brush with olive oil. Cook the burgers until browned and cooked through, 3-4 minutes on each side.
Meanwhile, split the rolls and toast them. When the burgers are cooked, assemble your creation with baby spinach leaves, tzatziki sauce, and the drained marinated onions.
From Publishers Weekly
While working in California as the executive chef for Google, Ayers came to believe that we can all eat delicious, clean, fast cuisine that is good for us, good for the community, and good for the Earth. In his first cookbook, Ayers shares recipes that fed the young minds at Google for more than six years as well as tips on eating, shopping and cooking smart. Ayers isn't telling readers anything new, but his clear and concise recipes are inspiring. The Smart Pantry section includes lists of Ayers's favorite vinegars, oils and grains, and includes creative recipes for homemade condiments like Chutney-Yogurt Crust for fish, Roasted Jalapeno Ketchup, and Flavor Cubes, such as one made with carrot juice, eggplant and garlic puree frozen in ice trays and used to add quick flavor to soups or sauces. The Smart Recipes section offers such original recipes as a Jade Smoothie, made with cucumber, apple cider and lemon sorbet, and Dragon Breath Noodles, with peanut butter, ginger and honey. Photos. (May)
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Top customer reviews
This is a brilliant cookbook, but not necessarily for its recipes. What makes it remarkable is Charlie Ayers' holistic approach to dining:
- Buy local when you can because it's the right thing to do (and this is coming from a Conservative with a capital C);
- Eat well but mostly plants because it's good for your body (and, as someone continually struggling to lose weight that's a tip I'm taking to heart);
- Make your own "fast food" by preparing in advance through "flavor cubes" and freezer storage and both your waistline and bottom line will thank you for it (and haven't we all been at the point where a run to McD's seems easier than making something that's actually good for us?); and
- Indulge in the sensations of home-cooked food, from the fun of shopping and preparation to consumption (something which definitely appeals to the foodie in me).
We need more chefs who think like this. Thank you, Charlie. This is truly a masterpiece!
Food 2.0 starts out with plenty of short, interesting sections on Google, various aspects of healthful eating, and ways in which certain foods help or harm the body. This isn't a book for folks who think V8 is something exotic and fear-inducing; it's for folks willing to experiment in the name of getting healthy. For instance, Charlie spends a page talking about wheatgrass, which at Google they got people to try by juicing it and offering it as shots; after doing a shot one rang a bell. Apparently it took off so much that the bell got to ringing all day long, and Google ended up with one kitchen employee entirely dedicated to prepping wheatgrass.
While each little section is brief, attitudes and anecdotes keep them interesting and certainly leave an impression. In addition to the recipes themselves, Chef Ayers's tips and hints provide even more interesting possibilities. For instance, with a little creativity you can look through his list of favorite vinegars and the things he likes to use them on and come up with your own salads and sauces. In addition to the full-bore recipes he also includes plenty of off-the-cuff semi-recipe tidbits, such as his `mystery fondue.'
This isn't a vegetarian cookbook, but you'll find that many of the recipes in it would work for vegetarians (or would be easily adapted to them). This is definitely a cookbook for folks who have a good whole foods store near them. While there are recipes you can make from the ingredients at a normal supermarket, there are also plenty of ingredients you might have trouble finding.
[NOTE: review book provided by publisher]
Now on the verge of opening his own restaurant, Calafia Café and Market a Go Go, in Palo Alto, California, Charlie Ayers has also released a new cookbook, Food 2.0 - Secrets From the Chef Who Fed Google.
This book is perfect for a Deadhead, food lovin', organic eatin', Internet junkie like me. I totally relate to everything written and feel much more relaxed about my food choices. I always feel like there's a hard line there between vegetarian and omnivore, organic and non-organic, but Charlie has set down a brand new line somewhere in-between it all that just makes SENSE. He urges everyone to "go organic" without beating us over the head with dos and don'ts. There's just common sense and Charlie's own preference, followed up with the reminder that we all need to do what is right for ourselves.
Charlie has a real-life non-nonsense "parent" approach to many things, especially about frozen food - stuff I've been doing for years, but was afraid to share for fear that the hardcore "only from fresh" crowd would shun me. From his feelings on olive oil and his "4 best herbs to grow at home" (the very four I have growing right now) to the section on pasta and his thoughts on why we should eat organic, we are very like-minded. This was almost like reading about myself, except that the recipes are so superior to anything I've created thus far and there were several things I didn't know about food.
I can't think of one person who shouldn't own this book. It's 250 pages jam-packed with all you really need to know about feeding yourself and your family very well.