Cooking may not be a gender-specific activity, but there are some characteristics that follow stereotypes more often than not (read on before you start to object). At least that’s what Steven Raichlen says — and we tend to agree. He’s the guy who has brought us more grilling books than one would think possible (most of the 30 books he’s written, including “Planet Barbecue!” and “Barbecue! Bible”). Now Raichlen directs his considerable culinary knowledge to another subject he’s equally skilled at: teaching men to cook in “Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook for Guys” (Workman, 631 pages, $24.95).
As Raichlen takes the reader through a variety of cooking methods in 300 recipes, he intersperses technique and step-by-step photos (how to carve a turkey, how to eat lobster) with an engaging Q&A involving food dudes, from Spanish chef Jose Andres to Michael Pollan, Thomas Keller, Stanley Tucci, Andrew Zimmern and even a faux interview with Thomas Jefferson (via an academic). The interviews alone are worth the price of the book as each cook delves deep into what motivates his cooking.