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Book Review: How to Cook Like a Man: A Memoir of Cookbook Obsession by Dan Duane

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How to Cook Like a Man: A Memoir of Cookbook Obsession by Dan Duane is an adventure in the art of fine cooking by a San Francisco surfer and climber who needed to find something constructive to do at home. He is depicted as inept at many, if not most, household tasks. He liked a few favorite meal preparations, like pasta. His adventures in cooking took him through some very trying times as well as high points as a novice chef.

Duane marveled at the food preparation of a noted biographical favorite. Chef Alice Waters was an accomplished chef and had been his preschool teacher decades earlier. During his initial experimentation with cooking, he opened up one of Chez Panisse’s cookbooks and experienced many subsequent years of fine food preparation.

Some of his notable experiments were with peas and asparagus blanched in water. He tried artichokes stewed at a low temperature in hot olive oil. Other preparations included buttermilk fried chicken, prime rib hamburgers, and lettuce with bleu cheese. Bertolli’s fish and shellfish soup were favorites, together with New England seafood and an earthen casserole.

Duane has very specific advice for readers. He believes that each person needs to trust intuition and personal taste. Cooking itself is not following a recipe too slavishly. The art involves process, attentiveness to detail, and some experimentation with a personal touch at times. In addition, the art involves the power to soothe, focus, and redeem oneself through the prism of a constructive hobby or endeavor.

How to Cook Like a Man is no ordinary cookbook for people to follow faithfully “by the numbers.” The author combines storytelling with cooking techniques and popular recipes. If you can be patient with the extensive storytelling, the book, written in a light literary style with some distracting colloquial usage throughout, might have something significant to offer you.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.