For many of us the idea of healthy eating equals bland food, calorie counting, and general joylessness. Or we see the task of great cooking for ourselves as a complicated and expensive luxury beyond our means or ability. Now Peter Kaminsky—who has written cookbooks with four-star chefs (for example, Daniel Boulud) and no-star chefs (such as football legend John Madden)—shows us that anyone can learn to eat food that is absolutely delicious and doesn’t give you a permanently creeping waistline.
Just a couple years ago, Kaminsky found himself facing a tough choice: lose weight or suffer the consequences. For twenty years, he had been living the life of a hedonistic food and outdoors writer, an endless and luxurious feast. Predictably, obesity and the very real prospect of diabetes followed. Things had to change. But how could he manage to get healthy without giving up the things that made life so pleasurable? In Culinary Intelligence, Kaminsky tells how he lost thirty-five pounds and kept them off by thinking more—not less—about food, and he shows us how to eat in a healthy way without sacrificing the fun and pleasure in food.
Culinary Intelligence shows us how we can do this in everyday life: thinking before eating, choosing good ingredients, understanding how flavor works, and making the effort to cook. Kaminsky tells us what we need to give up (most fast food and all junk food) and what we can enjoy in moderation (dessert and booze), but he also shows us how to tantalize our tastebuds by maximizing flavor per calorie, and he makes delectably clear that if we eat delicious, flavorful foods, we’ll find ourselves satisfied with smaller portions while still enjoying one of life’s great pleasures.
About the Author
Peter Kaminsky wrote Underground Gourmet for New York magazine for four years, and his Outdoors column appeared in The New York Times for twenty years. He is a longtime contributor to Food & Wine, and the former managing editor of National Lampoon. His books include Pig Perfect: Encounters with Remarkable Swine, The Moon Pulled Up an Acre of Bass, The Elements of Taste (with Gray Kunz), Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way (with Francis Mallmann), Letters to a Young Chef (with Daniel Boulud), Celebrate! (with Sheila Lukins), and John Madden’s Ultimate Tailgating. He is a creator and executive producer of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, on PBS.
“‘Intelligence’ is the operative word. Kaminsky tells his story with engaging, thoughtful prose—no gimmicky diets, no impossible-to-follow menu plans. He believes in gratification, not denial.”
—Barry Estabrook, The Atlantic
“Kaminsky’s manifesto makes the not-altogether-depressing argument that some of us might be able to tame our gluttonous appetites (and maybe even slim down) by focusing on eating foods that deliver maximum flavor . . . Culinary Intelligence has nothing to do with shame, and everything to do with the idea of enlisting pleasure as your dietary ally.”
—Jeff Gordinier, The New York Times
“If you don’t want to be part of the obesity and diabetes epidemics in this country, read this book. Food-lover Peter Kaminsky lost weight and transformed his own diet without giving up delicious, nutritious, flavorful foods and he provides an entertaining roadmap for how hedonism and health can co-exist quite happily.”
—Arthur Agatston, M.D., preventive cardiologist and creator of the South Beach Diet
“Peter Kaminsky’s book shows that eating better definitely doesn’t mean compromising
on fantastic ingredients and delicious meals. It’s a great guide to how to make the most of your food.”
“Is Peter Kaminsky a double agent? For 20 years, he eats only the world’s best food, 'happens' to discover the cure for diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, and comes home to tell us to cook our own food, have lunch, and eat leftovers? A savvy, audacious book—long overdue.
—Bill Buford, author of Heat
“For most people, good health and hedonism make strange bedfellows. But for Peter Kaminsky, eating for pleasure is eating for longevity: the two go hand in hand, and happily. His brilliant new book, Culinary Intelligence, isn’t formulaic or abstemious. It’s a culinary doctrine deeply rooted in flavor, making cooking and eating well something to look forward to.”
“Peter Kaminsky’s rules for taking pounds off and keeping them off are based on a really good idea: Flavor per Calorie. That works for him and should make dieting a pleasure.”
—Marion Nestle, New York University, co-author of Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics
“Peter Kaminsky knows food from every angle there is. Culinary Intelligence breaks new ground by weaving together fascinating stories, wonderful insights about the way we relate to food, and practical advice for eating better and truly enjoying it more.”
—Kelly D. Brownell, Professor of Psychology, Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University
“Peter Kaminsky’s Culinary Intelligence is the ultimate food-lover’s handbook, full of mouth-watering prose and smart, practical advice for a new generation of conscientious eaters. With every turn of the page I was inspired and encouraged to make realistic, healthy choices, without the fear of sacrificing the pleasures inherent in eating well. This book will forever change the way you think about food and no doubt help us all tread a little lighter, on our plates, our palates and on the planet.”
—Gail Simmons, author of Talking with My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater