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Gentlemen, Start Your Ovens

Killer Recipes for Guys
by Tucker Shaw

Gentlemen, Start Your Ovens: Killer Recipes for Guys

Cook a man some bacon, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man about bacon, and he’ll put it in anything he can get his hands on. Tucker Shaw, author and former dining critic of the Denver Post, stumbled upon this discovery while compiling his digest of man-eats: Gentlemen, Start Your Ovens: Killer Recipes for Guys. Written by your normal everyday Joe Schmo for the normal everyday Joe Schmo, this tongue-in-cheek cookbook takes man’s favorite ingredients and demonstrates how to make something edible and—surprise!—delicious.

Shaw walks readers through the kitchen basics with superb detail, holding the hands of guys who might not understand the finer points of mise en place. From there, he takes us through his favorite homemade dishes, which are grouped into simple categories such as “All-Day Breakfast,” “24/7 Snacks” and “Supper.” Mixing country home-style with frat-boy sensibilities, Shaw’s recipes range from simple items like Blueberry Pancakes and Beer-Battered Onion Rings, to more complex but still easy-to-make meals like All-Day Pulled-Pork Sandwiches and Beer and Mustard Chicken Pot Pie. A couple of hangover cures like Susan O’s Last Resort and Bloody Mary Tomato Soup are thrown in for good measure.

Shaw prefaces each recipe with a humorous little header describing why Meatball Heroes are perfect on Sundays nights, or why you should never buy movie snacks when you can make your own in thirty minutes. He finishes off each recipe with tips on what to drink with the meal (usually beer), and how to “doctor it up” for next time (usually bacon). It’s a perfect college-boy/working-man companion, though Shaw should be careful about completely excluding the female race. You should never underestimate the power that a fried steak and potatoes has over a woman.

Reviewed by Nancy Huang

(Updated: 12/30/08 SB)

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