This is a book for men. Which, given how lady-targeted most cookbooks tend to be, seems fair. Yes, it plays into certain gender stereotypes — but it's not the stereotype of the bumbling bro who can't cook spaghetti. This is GQ after all. These are recipes for the discerning gentleman. A gentleman who likes his sliders made with Kobe beef and his risotto finished with Grana Padano. Honestly, as a non-dude myself, I found this book to a refreshing change of pace.
• Who wrote it: Paul Henderson
• Who published it: Mitchell Beazley
• The angle: Dude food by (mostly) dudes for dudes (...mostly)
• Recipes for right now: Parmesan Grits with Wild Boar Sausages; Fish Pie; Chicken Curry; Risotto of Wild Mushroom; Sicilian Rabbit, Honey and Cider Roast Leg of Lamb; Rhubarb and Custard Tart; Brownies; The GQ Cocktail
• Other highlights: Those recipes listed up there might sound a bit ho-hum, but when you have chefs like Gordon Ramsey and Daniel Boulud at the helm, you know "ho-hum" will be the least of your worries. It's hard to tell just by the recipes and photos alone exactly how complicated these dishes might be to make. They certainly look magnificent — I love the stark lighting and vibrant colors of the food on every page. My gut feeling is that if you can accept that your dish won't look anything like the styled dish in the photo, you can probably make some pretty tasty food following these recipes.
I appreciate that this is a no-nonsense kind of cookbook. The headnotes are kept to a minimum. The recipes are laid out on the page artfully and also perfectly logically — a cook would have no trouble following along with the steps. The directions themselves are fairly minimal and assume some prior kitchen knowledge (e.g., you need to know what it means to "sweat an onion"), and yet they seem to give just enough support at tense moments (e.g. how to tell when the risotto is ready for the Grana Padano).
Not a cookbook for newbies, but great for an adventurous home cook who aims high with his (or her) culinary creations.
• Who would enjoy this book? Discerning people of all stripes
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: GQ Eats by Paul Henderson
• Visit the author's website: Paul Henderson
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Image credits: Emma Christensen)