Friends, nerds, countrymen! Lend me your tastebuds.
We food nerds know that food is a science. From the Maillard reaction that causes your grilled cheese to get all golden brown and delicious to our evolution-induced love of all things salty and sweet, you can't get away from it. But don't take our word for it! Check out these cookbooks by chefs and cooks who let their geek flags fly!
Justin Warner, Alton Brown's protégé from Food Network Star, uses common flavor combinations, boils them down to "laws" and uses them as jumping off points for his zany new pairings. But, unlike the laws of thermodynamics, Justin's laws make total sense. Case in point: the "Law of Peanut Butter and Jelly", aka the primal combination of salty, rich lipids with fructose which early humans developed a love for given its high caloric content which bettered their chances of survival. From this law comes his jaw-dropping foie gras doughnut with grape jelly. Don't knock it 'til you try it!
Watch 5 minutes of Good Eats reruns and you'll know why Alton Brown will always make our list of favorite food nerds. Later this month, EveryDayCook, his first cookbook in five years, will hit shelves and we can hardly wait. Interestingly, this book is comprised of 100 easy recipes the average home cook could incorporate into his/her daily routine. Though a bit of a departure from some of his previous books which focused on "master" recipes, Alton promises EveryDayCook has his signature enthusiasm for science and dry humor, so rest assured.
New York Times bestseller? Check. 2016 winner of the James Beard award for General Cooking? Check. IACP Cookbook of the Year Award? Check. Yep, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is on top of the world right now, and with good reason. His cookbook uses molecular science to make the creamiest, silkiest mac 'n cheese that you ever did taste. If chemistry and microbiology had taught us that in high school, our transcripts would look very different today, just saying.
Ok, this one is for all our 90's pop culture nerds. Earlier this summer, hearthrob (now silver fox) Freddie Prinze, Jr., released his first cookbook of 75 family recipes, all inspired by his Puerto Rican heritage and upbringing in New Mexico. When you get your copy, resist the urge to go straight for the green (chile) eggs and jamon recipes, and first read up on his trips to his abuela's farm in Boqueron and his near enrollment in Le Cordon Bleu prior to getting his big break on She's All That. PS- his wife, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, wrote the foreword. Mic drop.
If the most adorkable person in your high school ran a bake sale, it would be comprised entirely of Rosanna Pansino's recipes from The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook. This Youtube star makes sweet treats for the geek in all of us and we love her for it. Heck, the woman made cookies in the shape of Dungeons and Dragons-inspired icosahedron (20-sided) dice with actress and the queen of the nerds, Felicia Day. If that doesn't make you want to clink butterbeers with Ro, nothing will.