Adam Richman—you might know him as the host of the TV shows Man v. Food and Food Fighters. Yes, Richman has tried his share of crazy foods in his day. But I know him as the author of Straight Up Tasty, a cookbook of unique (though not Fear Factor) recipes inspired by his trips to diners across the United States and created by the author himself.
As a wannabee-artist, what I love most about this book is its visual appeal. Each page makes me feel like I am treasure-hunting in my grandma’s recipe box or finding the special recipes taped to every diner kitchen’s walls.
But the recipes themselves are a quick tie for my appreciation. When I cook, I love to take traditional foods and add just a little something to make them extra special. And that is exactly what this cookbook does. From “Pesto Egg Salad” (page 107) to “Smoked Paprika Onion Rings” (page 163) to spiced corn on the cob (pages 166-167), the food inside this book is delectable. What especially wins my favor is the section on using leftover holiday candy. Next time my family experiences a glut of Junior Mints, I know right where to turn: “Chocolate Mint Blizzard Shake” (page 194).
Each section of Richman’s book (“Breakfast,” “Let’s Do Lunch,” “Snacks and Small Plates,” “Dinner,” “Sides and Salads,” “Sauces and Condiments,” and “Sweets”) begins with a short, quipy introduction and a table of contents, making browsing more convenient and doable. Several times throughout, Richman provides recommendations for restaurants that “fit the bill” for delicious burgers, breakfast feasts, and more.
Overall, Straight Up Tasty is a very useful book—for cooks, for the hungry, and for those who wish to find a gift for their mother.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.