For many of us the idea of healthy eating equals bland food, calorie counting, and general joylessness. Or we see the task of great cooking for ourselves as a complicated and expensive luxury beyond our means or ability. Now Peter Kaminsky—who has written cookbooks with four-star chefs (for example, Daniel Boulud) and no-star chefs (such as football legend John Madden)—shows us that anyone can learn to eat food that is absolutely delicious and doesn’t give you a permanently creeping waistline.
Just a couple years ago, Kaminsky found himself facing a tough choice: lose weight or suffer the consequences. For twenty years, he had been living the life of a hedonistic food and outdoors writer, an endless and luxurious feast. Predictably, obesity and the very real prospect of diabetes followed. Things had to change. But how could he manage to get healthy without giving up the things that made life so pleasurable? In Culinary Intelligence, Kaminsky tells how he lost thirty-five pounds and kept them off by thinking more—not less—about food, and he shows us how to eat in a healthy way without sacrificing the fun and pleasure in food.
Culinary Intelligence shows us how we can do this in everyday life: thinking before eating, choosing good ingredients, understanding how flavor works, and making the effort to cook. Kaminsky tells us what we need to give up (most fast food and all junk food) and what we can enjoy in moderation (dessert and booze), but he also shows us how to tantalize our tastebuds by maximizing flavor per calorie, and he makes delectably clear that if we eat delicious, flavorful foods, we’ll find ourselves satisfied with smaller portions while still enjoying one of life’s great pleasures.
About Peter Kaminsky
Peter Kaminsky wrote Underground Gourmet for New York magazine for four years, and his Outdoors column appeared in The New York Times for twenty years. He is a longtime contributor to Food & Wine, and the former managing editor of National Lampoon. His books include Pig Perfect: Encounters with Remarkable Swine, The Moon Pulled Up an Acre of Bass, The Elements of Taste (with Gray Kunz), Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way (with Francis Mallmann), Letters to a Young Chef (with Daniel Boulud), Celebrate! (with Sheila Lukins), and John Madden’s Ultimate Tailgating. He is a creator and executive producer of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, on PBS.
“Culinary Intelligenc: The Art of Eating Healthy (and Really Well)” by Peter Kaminsky
The Washington Post Book Review – June 23, 2012 (Excerpt)
Peter Kaminsky’s latest isn’t a diet book, not in the traditional sense. There are no chapters called “Getting Started” or “Phase Two” or “Keeping It Off,” and the title isn’t anything as sexy-sounding as “Engine 2” or “Paleo” or “South Beach.”
Instead, with “Culinary Intelligence” Kaminsky has laid out a compelling logic for approaching food in what seems like an entirely new way, although it probably shouldn’t be new at all. Whether readers are cooking at home or foraging for sustenance at a neighborhood dive, through the aisles of a roadside convenience store or even at a restaurant of the highest ambition, Kaminsky argues against deprivation and in favor of pursuing something you don’t see written about in enough health-focused books: flavor.
Perhaps the problem is that too few of those other books have been written by people with backgrounds like Kaminsky’s. He’s neither nutritionist nor chef, but a food journalist with decades of experience in cooking, eating and writing. As with so many in his profession, the job hazards piled up, on the scale and around his midsection. He prophesied as much in his introductory “Underground Gourmet” column at New York magazine in 1994: “There is a thing I call Kaminsky’s Constant: namely if a man lives long enough, eats long enough, and drinks long enough, there comes a time, usually in his early forties, when his age, waistline, and IQ are the same number.” He was half-joking, but the point was taken. [Read the full article...]
A Novel by John Patrick Doyle
A Peeping Tom Goes Nuts Over A Blind Girl
Paul Kirk is a librarian and one of his town’s quirkier residents. In a childhood home lacking parents (his mother dying of MS and his father an alcoholic) Paul had imagined himself a member of the neighboring family. Now in his late twenties, Paul vicariously participates in the households of his community. His peeping-Tom proclivities express his awkward need for social bonding. [Read more...]
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