Not Every Cook Is a Jerk

Cooking for strangers can be difficult, and telling other strangers how to cook for even more strangers can be incredibly difficult. It takes a lot of guts to make a successful career of the culinary arts. This is probably why we think that chefs are the sort of people who could yell at children for a living. But they're not all that bad. They just love their work with a crazy, unhinged passion.

Gabrielle Hamilton brings a great deal of energy and wit to her memoir Blood, Bones, & Butter, making it easy to see how someone can fall into a life of endless cooking. Given her hot temper and occasionally questionable behavior, she's probably not the easiest person to get along with, but at least she's honest about it. As an added bonus, she reads the audiobook herself.

Because I'm a guy, you'll never get me to watch or read Julie & Julia, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the warmth, honesty and determination of Julia Child. From her work with the OSS during World War II to her renowned television performances, she has the sort of personality you can't help but be curious about.

Recently, I can't stop watching PBS' The Mind of a Chef. Produced by Anthony Bourdain, it focuses on a handful of renowned, contemporary chefs as they travel the world, ramble on about their philosophies and try out strange, new recipes I'd never be able to figure out myself. The Edward Lee season follows the chef to Argentina as he meets a man who cooks everything over an elaborate campfire he makes by himself every day.

Cooks can be fun to listen to. I'm not sure I'd want to work with one, but at least they're okay from a distance.

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