Undercooked - A Persian Lamb Stew


For this (December/January) round, we at Cook the Books Club have been featuring the collection of essays, memoir really, Undercooked by Dan Ahdoot, hosted by Debra of Eliot's Eats.  It's a very personal, sometimes light-weight romp about his obsession with eating, frequently at high end restaurants, all over the world, to the detriment of any personal relationships, and how he got that way.  As the sub title of his books states "How I let Food Become My Life Navigator and How Maybe That's a Dumb Way to Live".  Well, duh.  It was at times funny, though often in a sad sort of way.  An enjoyable read for the most part.

I loved the description of Dan's first kitchen experiment as a kid.  A ten year old, and he wanted to make a Grand Marnier Souffle!  Then totally nailed it with the assistance and encouragement of his mom. 

From Kirkus Reviews: "A comic describes his lifelong love affair with food. "A good meal gives me more happiness than almost anything in life, including sex, money, and sex," Ahdoot writes in this collection of humorous essays. Later, he adds, "I'm probably the best comedian in the country with a deep obsession with food, so that's something, right?"  Much of the narrative describes how he got that way. Unfortunately, the book is like a restaurant that can't keep good chefs because the offerings vary wildly in quality. As the middle of three boys, Ahdoot was the only child in their Iranian Jewish household who shared his father's love of fine cuisine, a passion his father maintained until the oldest son died of cancer. Ahdoot's parents then turned to religion and frequented "subpar kosher immigrant eateries…".