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Hey Boar d laze !!

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Boar d laze,

Your profile says you are working on a cookbook.

Just wanted to say that I, for one, would be very interested in knowing when you are done so that I might procure a copy.

I really enjoy your posts and find you to be a font of useful knowledge on a very broad spectrum of topics. Better yet, your writing style is very conducive to passing along technical knowledge, i.e. extraordinarily descriptive and crystal clear (two things that are not always found together). Furthermore, you seem to (in your posts) focus in on passing on the ability to master the art and science of cooking as opposed to simply following recipes, I’m loving that. Not to mention I enjoy your sense of humor and the anecdotes you use to get your point across.

All of that together equates to me being ready, willing and able to fork over some cash even if it is for a photocopied Word document in a 3 ring binder. Keep me posted.
post #2 of 27
me too me too!
post #3 of 27
I agree!

It seems BDL could write a book on just coffee too.
post #4 of 27
Thanks so much guys. The truth is, I've been stalled for a little bit and your encouraging words are just what I needed!

post #5 of 27
Well I am not gonna drive past San Diego any time soon, so I can't invite myself over for dinner, But put me down for a copy too.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
post #6 of 27
Thought about putting a lawyer joke up here but decided not to:smiles:

BDL is multi-talented for sure.
post #7 of 27
I'll 5th(?) that!

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
post #8 of 27
I amended my thought
post #9 of 27

the book

I am all about BDL's book. His posts rock out hard. I would be especially excited if he would include information on kitchen knives (he knows a lot about steel varieties and sharpenning) and some anecdotes about professionally cooking during the explosion of New California Cuisine.

BDL, get to work!

sugguested tittle, (The Woop@$$ Book 'cooking for the hardcore')
post #10 of 27
People are very nice on this board.

I'm still working on collecting, writing and editing recipes appropriate for the book.

Several of the recipes will be "teaching recipes" (need a better name, eh?) that are very technique oriented with LOTS of explanation, and they'll be keyed to the technique and equipment chapters..

The first section of the book will be about the prep side of the kitchen with a chapter on knives, but including some other prep tools including cutting boards. I'm thinking of making the first teaching recipe arroz con pollo, but haven't decided yet. Arroz con pollo is a nice reward for learning to cut carrots and onions, and chop cilantro. But maybe I should stick with something a little more American. What do you think?

The knife section's been killing me. I'm dividing it into sections of ordinary people and for people who are a bit nutty for knives. OP are definitely be free to skip the nuts stuff.

I know the first hot technique section will be "hot pan" and the recipe keyed to that will be pan-roasted beefsteak with a cognac/ cream/ green-peppercorn reduction. Very easy.

Definitely open to suggestions,
post #11 of 27
Nutty for knives? As in those who throw a chicken in the air and try to cut it into boneless skinless pieces before it lands? :D
post #12 of 27
No. I can do that. I mean nutty.

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Open to suggestions are we?
My input would be to first identify and focus on your market, (Me, Me, Me). I assume the least common denominator you would be writing for would be those with zero culinary knowledge, but who have a burning desire to build their knowledge and want to be serious foodies.(People that eat from boxes will never care, not even if Solient Green is people. :roll:) In the median range are people who are already on the foodie path who are looking for good information in a cooking manual to enhance their burgeoning skills. Given your previous writing examples on this forum I can see hard core foodies and even professionals being interested in a reference or refresher book, doubly true for professionals who are young in their careers.
All that being said, not a single type in your market would want “Americanized” or “more American” recipes. You can get that kind of book anywhere. Do the arroz con pollo, but give us some of that classic boar d laze background info that we can use to impress our friends and loved ones when we show off our new found skills.
The thread on Alfredo Sauce is a prime example of what you do very well. When you went into the history of the dish you mentioned how it rose to fame and referenced Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, great info. The fabulous part was when you later referred to them as “Mary and Doug” that is a style thing that makes the reader feel like they are “in” on a secret. Those types of style choices set you apart and make the reader like you and keeps your highly technical work from being a dry boring text book that puts people to sleep.
As a side note, I grew up with a mother who could follow a recipe but couldn’t cook her way out of a wet paper sack. When I had been out on my own for about a year I made friends with a fellow who was first generation Italian on his father’s side and Sicilian on his mother’s side. Boy could he cook! I didn’t even realize that such food could be made, let alone from the dregs of my refrigerator. I had been eating at the Olive Garden thinking that was good food. My favorite was Fettuccini Alfredo. Then he made it from scratch. It was a defining moment in my personal food history and darn near a sexual experience (with the sauce, not the guy). I never went to the Olive Garden again. Yet, now I find that it was al burro, not Alfredo. Doesn’t change what I love, just makes me better informed and I will soon get to trying Alfredo, thanks to you.
Really and truly, I would probably enjoy reading your description of how to make toast. Outside of my dreaded sea food allergy I would try my hand at anything you recommended based on how you describe things. The style you write in might even convince me to cook sea food; I just wouldn’t be able to eat it. My husband would love you for that.
So recipe suggestions: a spectrum of what you like. Your knowledge is self-evident. No disrespect to that knowledge, but it really is your approach and flair that makes me want your book as opposed to another with the exact same technical information.
Also, my brilliant deductive skills have pieced together enough bits of information that you have dropped to lead me to believe that you have a European background. Americans love nothing more for someone from across the water to instruct us on how to be more than bourgeois, even if that person is merely an American who has spent time abroad. Play that up to an American audience. Wax poetic about your time outside of our borders and how you first came to love arroz con pollo in its purest form. And then tell us how to make it.
I first started visiting this forum a year ago. I fell off the radar last December when I took ill and my teenager killed my computer. After surgery on both the pc and me I came back to find a new dude with some serious posts. (That would be you.) I’m nosy and like to know who I am interacting with so I always check out the profiles and websites of posters who peak my interest. When I read that you were working on a cook book, I assumed that all of your posts were research and practice runs for your book. And given the amount of posting you do I figured you were getting fairly close. Hence I started this thread. I find it funny, that you have been writing min-instruction manuals in this forum but say that your book is stalling.
If you compiled all of your posts, you could have a basic outline. Not to mention that questions posed by others here and advice that is sought ought to give you a good idea of the topics that people are most interested in learning about.
Got to go, kids are all home for the summer and they have been quite for far too long.
post #14 of 27
I like my "what I want in a cookbook" post :D

also, BDL...have you ever thought about doing "podcasts"

cooking blogs seem to be a dime a dozen nowadays (wsj had a good article today) but podcasts are great too.

or even better, video podcasts :)

or even better.....your own SHOW haha.
post #15 of 27

managing BDL's career

I second the podcast thing. Finally would be some video worth putting on my IPod.

Also, don't skimp on the knife stuff. An Edge in the Kitchen by Chad Ward is the only kitchen knife book that I am excited about so more info in print would be a valuable contribution.

DON'T water down. Don't Americanize recipes. That would be selling you short.

I also second the poster stressing your personal experiences making for interesting text. Keller does this and I truly feel better about food every time I open his book.

Hearing about you working with the names that you did during a time when the scene was just blossoming is very intriging.

Do you want my pay-pal info now?
post #16 of 27

You're probably way ahead of me on this, but if you haven't looked at the knife sharpening chapter in Leonard Lee's Sharpening you definitely should. The book is mostly devoted to woodworking tools, but the knife chapter is, like the rest of the book, excellent. You could steal a bunch of stuff from it! :eek:

Lee is the founder and retired CEO of Lee Valley Tools Ltd., a premier supplier of woodworking, gardening, and kitchen tools. I am pretty sure that he was the person who first suggested that the Microplane wood rasp might be pretty handy in the kitchen, too.

travelling gourmand
travelling gourmand
post #17 of 27
I kind of half scanned - half read most of the book, including the knife chapter. It's a great guide; it's very well thought out, and the conclusions and recommended practices are based on solid evidence -- including some wonderful pictures that are in the book.

However, it's not the only good book on sharpening. While I really don't have the qualification or knowledge to criticize Lee, I'm more in the John Juranitch / Chad Ward school of knife sharpening -- along with some of my own variations and poorly reasoned conclusions. That is, I prefer to sharpen most culinary knives free-hand on dry India and Arkansas stones to an appropriate level of polish; most of them to 15* flat bevels, but again, bevel shape and angles as appropriate.

The knife selection and knife maintenance sections of my book have been kicking my butt since I joined this forum; and I still haven't finished them. It's more a matter of what not to put in than anything else. There are any number of good methods based on mutually contradictory theories. I don't want to invalidate anything that works, but I'd like to give the reader a shot at what will work best for her or him.

If you have the chance, take a look at Chad Ward's new book, An Edge in the Kitchen. It's the best on the subject to date -- and includes some wonder knife-technique instruction.

post #18 of 27
I was wondering what you though of Ward's book. I love it. I was expecting you to provide a condensed version for the knife section of your book then mention his book as further reading.

ProChef CIA does this all the time with the further reading section.

Just a thought. Can't wait to buy it.
post #19 of 27
You can put me down for one of your books as well. I love learning from all of you on this board, and teaching style recipes are right up my alley!
post #20 of 27
Oskar -- Thanks. Now and then I think of hundreds of reasons why I should just quit. But people like you remind me they're bogus. Consider yourself down.

Angry -- Definitely in the "recommended books" section with a "mini" two sentence review. Ward's book is another one of those, "I don't completely agree with all his methods even though he knows ten times more than I even thought existed."

post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
So I was going to post to a thread that suggested that we all ignore BDL so that he would be forced to finish his book, but then it disapperared. But since I felt my comments, especially onced typed out and all, were relevant in thier own right to the discussion of cook book development in general, I'll post them here:

I would just like to state that in my infinite wisdom and vast sage-ness, I was the first to post on the topic of the much anticipated Boar D Laze manifesto. Yes, that was me. A little credit over here please.;)

And while I certainly want to do my part in getting the book to press, understand that this forum is probably playing a vital role in the research and development of the book. So if you want to help, don’t ignore him, cook the recipes he posts and critic them. I don’t mean just critic the final dish. Critic how it was written. Did you clearly understand the instructions? Were you able to produce the dish yourself or did you flub it? Did you find information included relevant or helpful? Are the ingredients used something someone in your region can easily get a hold of? Etc. Etc. Etc.

Not all talented chefs are talented writers and not all talented writers can convey technical information in a clear, concise and interesting manner, but IMHO BDL can. A good cook book will have had all of its recipes put through the ringer before it is published, lend a hand and be a part of the BDL test kitchen.

IMO it would be especially helpful if someone chose to test a recipe that was out of their comfort zone. That is the true litmus test of a well written recipe. If you don’t bake, try a couple three of BDL’s bread recipes and post your results.

I have a baking OCD and could probably make any bread recipe with just a list of ingredients and minimal instructions. So while I can tell him from my experience that his onion dill bread was the best I ever had (really it is, go forth to the recipe forum and bake it) and I didn’t find the written instructions overly complex, what he needs is someone who is clueless to pull it off with his instructions.

I’m sure BDL isn’t the only person here who harbors the dream of publishing a cook book and Chef Talk is an ideal place to incubate such a work. So if anybody else is cooking one up, let us know.

Oh, and I think it’s about time Nicko added another forum for food writers, gosh darn it.:D
post #22 of 27

my thread was the one deleted

I posted the other thread and I feel that my message wasn't very clear. I wasn't advocating ignoring BDL. He is the go-to guy for me that helped me with buying a knife/sharpening stones and everything. I was trying to get more people to support his writing the book by mentioning it in almost every post to him. I feel that completing something as vast as a cookbook can be a trying task and the more support the better. None the less, the thread was deleted so I guess I'll just say within every post to or about BDL... Looking forward to the book.
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
Cooking Angry,
I knew what you meant, I’m sure most folks would have understood too, its all good.

I did, however, want to use the opportunity to give my opinions on how to best help anyone here who is working on a cook book. Encouragement is always vital, good critic is even better.

So hop to and make some of BDL’s recipes and critic.:lips:
post #24 of 27

COOK FOOD GOOD: American Cooking and Technique for Beginners and Intermediates

Sometimes it's a good idea to ignore me.

Angry I understood what you were getting at.

Iz, you're right that I'm using this forum as part of my research. I learn a lot about what people actually know and don't know, and what types of answers and advice get across; also, I get the chance to see what kind of reaction my recipes get.

As far as progress goes, I'm still developing and writing recipes, and am still working on organization. I've got nearly complete drafts on barbecuing with smoke, "hot pan," and quick breads. "Knives" is still kicking my behind, but when I assemble all my fragments there might be more there than it feels like right now. I'm starting to organize "how to read a recipe" and "how to develop your own recipes," roasting and baking.

I've decided on including four "regular" breads, a subject near and dear to Iz's heart. Two recipes are set, and were introduced here; although they're still subject to minor tweaking and rewriting. They're the sour pumpernickel and onion-dill. Some multi-grain thing along the lines of struan will be the third and I haven't decided on the fourth. Maybe a plain French white or maybe an Italian olive bread. (FWIW, what makes an Italian bread Italian is the use of a biga instead of a poolish or sponge.)

Iz is helping push the bread along. Angry's helped me with knives.

Any critiquing I can get from people like you is enormously helpful. I appreciate it and the encouragement too. I love the enthusiasm you have for our craft. Along that line, it's very useful to hear what problems you run across with my work, and what different conclusions you reach, techniques you use, etc. Not just my work, either. I'm not writing with the idea of teaching people to cook like I do, but to cook like they want; to have fun; to be comfortable; to not get overwhelmed; to consistently turn out good food; and to feel good about the whole thing. It's a craft which sometimes touches art. Might as well get some satisfaction.

Iz already knows working title, and I might as well share it here, since she's published it in her newspaper column. COOK FOOD GOOD: American Cooking and Technique for Beginners and Intermediates.

Nicko wrote me and suggested I blog the process of writing and marketing CFG. I hope the blog will be interesting and helpful. You don't really understand what you know and don't know until you try writing it, and the blog should help me clarify my own thoughts as well as give me an extra look at what I've written through writing about it.

post #25 of 27
+1 for the barbeque sextion. My professor (20 years as a chef) is from the South near Brunswick, GA and says that he was walking distance from 3 great barbeque joints and that he hasn't found even a passable barbeque in MI.

Zingermans, which even interenet research will prove is an impressive company, apparantly fails at it. Zingermans was the first U.S. market to retail Iberico Ham according to their employees. Ever had Iberico Ham?
post #26 of 27
I know of one really good barbecue in MI, but it's pretty deep in the mitten. If and when I remember the name, I'll pass it on so you can continue to impress Chef.

post #27 of 27

I agree

His vast knowledge has intrigued me greatly. I spend much of "free" time reading and I would be all over reading his materials. I commend you and I look forward to success. I have already enjoyed reading many of the responses here on Cheftalk, great points! Good Luck:rolleyes:
Determination is going after Moby Dick in a row boat and bringing the tarter sauce!!!!......NICE!
Determination is going after Moby Dick in a row boat and bringing the tarter sauce!!!!......NICE!
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