My main problem with cook books and recipes is motivation. I might enjoy a well-written guide to cuisine, and great photography along with it. But actually making a list, picking up ingredients and creating something rather than spending time on the computer, TV or Xbox? It turns out that there is an answer to this problem, and it’s the Geeky Chef cook books.
Until now, my only recipes tended to be a handful of tried and trusted Jamie Oliver and Nigel Slater examples, picked for simplicity. But when my girlfriend kindly bought me The Geeky Chef Cook Book and The Geeky Chef Strikes Back, she might have finally found the way to inspire a more adventurous side in the kitchen. Especially as my son has actually stopped playing video games on occasion to go through and request specific creations.
There are several things to love about these cook books. The first is that the range of sources covers something for pretty much everyone. There are recipes from films, video games, TV, cartoons and more. And they’re all titles that most self-respecting geeks and nerds will be familiar with. Even if you’re not a particular fan of Blade Runner, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Calvin & Hobbes, you’ll know enough to appreciate White Dragon Noodles, Pizza Gyoza and Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs.
Next up is the writing style, which you can sample at the Geeky Chef blog, along with some of the recipes from the books. Cassandra Reeder has a great informal writing style which means any geek will feel welcomed into cooking. It’s obvious that Cassandra shares the same interests as her intended readers, which means she’s able to pick out exactly what we’re most excited about when it comes to food from Harry Potter, Minecraft, Doctor Who etc.
Most of the recipes are based around fairly accessible ingredients, and are reasonably short and easy to follow. Which is good if you have a short attention span. Or need to cook for a child with a short attention span and an empty stomach. And there’s a good blend of sweet and savoury, quick and more complicated, which means most palates are covered. Plus it stops small people only going for puddings.
The Geeky Chef blog was originally started in 2008, and the time spent testing and refining each recipe shows in the results.
Finally as you can see from the random selection of pages I’ve captured, the photography is great. Pretty much every dish is captured in an appropriate themed setting by photographer Bill Milne, and there are also great illustrations by artist Denis Caron. Which makes it really fun to browse, and really easy to imagine each dish in the right setting.
It’s not often a recipe book actually makes me cry out loud. But along with favourites remembered from the likes of Firefly, I almost shed a tear when I saw a recipe for Otiks Spiced Potatoes. It took me a split second and then I was transported back to binge reading Dragonlance books as a young teenager many years ago.
Basically, if you’re a geek or nerd who either already cooks or wants to start, then you need these books. And if you’re looking to encourage a geeky partner into the kitchen, they need these books. And we need to find the best way to store my new and growing cookbook collection.
And if you fancy buying them from Amazon and use the following links, you won’t pay any more, but a percentage will help us fund more kitchen gadgets to test, more cookbooks to review etc…
Also published on Medium.