No Reservations: The anti-Bourdain Wayne Cohen puts it straight on the line

At a time when most people savor the benefits afforded by an AARP card, Wayne Cohen ripped a page out of the “Jackass” playbook and pulled a crazy young man’s stunt. Advertisements

Advertisements

Books That Cook

April showers not only bring May flowers, but a flood of new cooking titles. While I’m usually psyched about all the new recipes, I also get overwhelmed to the point of a potential Xanax habit by the mountain of books to be read.

An Affair to Devour: Food writer Molly Wizenberg speaks for a new generation

There’s no way I could ever love a woman who was a vegetarian for a third of her life, has issues with heavy cream and is afraid to improvise in the kitchen. After all I have no problem with fat of any kind, I’m an equal-opportunity-organ-meat eater, and I’m like the Will Ferrell of the kitchen (And by that, I do not mean I run around naked and quote Frank the Tank lines from “Old School,” but that I am quick on my cooking feet). Of course, this woman probably wouldn’t have me anyway. Her childhood was generally free of processed foods and I have a penchant for Hot Pockets. Did I mention that she’s a married woman?

Cracking the Code

If man truly had to live on bread alone, especially bread he’d baked himself, I’d starve to death. 

Duck Soup

He might eat foie gras on occasion, but even if you’re an animal-rights advocate, there’s no question that Mark Caro is a great human being. The Chicago Tribune scribe and author of the new book “The Foie Gras Wars” gave a reading at Borders in Lakeview last Thursday. He opened the affair with a duck joke told by his young daughter, which engendered a bout of crying from his other daughter who was a tad jealous of her sibling’s moment in the limelight.

The Man with the Golden Tongue

In addition to Vernors ginger ale, Joe Louis, Nelson Algren, the MC5 and of course, the automobile, John King books might just be one of the greatest things Detroit has ever offered the world. Located in an old glove factory, this is the bookstore that a city like Chicago should have, but doesn’t. Located at 901 West Lafayette Street, it’s a four-story warehouse that sits a Kirk Gibson home run away from the rusting hulk of old Detroit Tigers stadium, housing 750,000-plus used books and mountains of kitschy and rare ephemera. The twenty-five years of accumulated dust and must, which channel the funk of a grandparent’s basement, draws book hounds, including Jay Leno and Teller of Penn and Teller, from the farthest reaches of the world.

Food Porn Files

It turns out I like to dabble in Asian and gay porn. Food porn, that is. In the last few weeks I’ve been slammed with a trove of advanced copies of cookbooks, mostly five-pound coffee-table versions filled with gauzy soft-focus shallow-depth-of-field photography of come-hither canapés and prosaic stories about learning to cook at the feet of mom, grandma or insert-favorite-dead-relative-who-in-reality-almost-killed-you-with-grayish-green-hard-boiled-eggs-and-leaden-fruitcake here.