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OP: Fearless Cooking for Men

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by Michele Evans

By the late 1970s a new food culture had emerged in the US. People had been exposed to more cuisines and encouraged, men and women alike, to embrace the act of cooking, not as a chore but as a way to express sophistication. While men coming of age in the ‘70s may not have been raised in kitchens, they were decreasingly fearful of the implications of donning an apron and entering a “woman’s domain.” 

Fearless Cooking for Men (1977), the second of a number of Michele Evans’ “fearless cooking” series, provides the perfect amount of hand holding for an ambitious but inexperienced cook. Evans assumes that men may have less kitchen experience, but she does not limit them to particular culinary realms.

Instead she offers many useful tips on how to read a recipe, a glossary of common terms, ingredient selection, and general advice for succeeding in the kitchen. Despite being tailored to the beginner, Evans does not shy away from challenging dishes. Her clear goal is to excite the reader with the promise of a delicious, worthwhile reward.

Sections on wok and clay pot cookery accompany microwave and food processor recipes, a bold invitation to supply one’s kitchen with an array of equipment to get the job done. The recipes, overall, cover an impressive range of styles and difficulty: soups, sandwiches, sauces, meats, vegetables, desserts, and even cooking for children, parties, bachelors, and diets. 

Many recipes are attributed to men, some of them quite notable. We spot Vincent Sardi’s poached scrod, topped with your choice of hollandaise or spicy mayonnaise; Jacques Pepin’s corn crepes, ideally served with a hearty meat stew; and novelist John Ehle’s wild mushrooms, either fried simply in butter, or gilded with a cream sauce.

Our copy is a strong Very Good Plus first printing, save for some minor bumps to the case and another to the top page edge, which is also foxed. The jacket, discretely price clipped, is Very Good Plus, discoloring a bit along the top.

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