I love Michael Symon and I love cookbooks, so this one was a natural for me. As soon as I heard it was coming out, I put an order in for the library, put my request in for the book and waited. I was really excited when it arrived and it turned out to be everything I love in a cookbook and more.
I’m the sort of person who likes to read cookbooks. I like to read through the recipes, look at the pictures and try to imagine the settings in which the food was originally served. I like cookbooks that are evocative of a time, a place, the person who compiled/wrote them. Michael Symon’s Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen has all of this. The recipes are great, but even better are the sections where he explains his technique and philosophy of cooking and those where he talks about his background and family–all of the things that contributed to his development as a person and a chef.
I’ve always thought that Symon sounded like a really great guy–someone who would be fun to know and that comes across in his book. He is down-to-earth, honest, and very aware of the debt he owes to his Greek and Mediterranean heritage and to his family and friends. He tells the story of how he learned his craft, the mistakes he made and what they taught him. When he tells you what techniques you need to master, he tells you why and in language that you can understand. It is all very simple, grounded in himself and his beliefs. The recipes are good too–so far my favorite is the ‘Ohio Creamed Corn with Bacon’—yum.
Give the book a try–I think you’ll like it. Click on the cover to reserve your copy and be careful—you just may end up buying it.