Ted Fristrom is a man of few distinctions. He is an adequate cook, a teacher of writing, and a small time cookbook fetishist. He owns roughly 150 cookbooks, a number which is unseemly for a home cook with only two mouths to feed but is embarrassingly small for a collector. He is well aware that there is are many professional reviewers on the web, an army of food bloggers who may have at least have attended a cooking class at one time or another, and many patient reviewers on Amazon.com who will probably provide more objective and more practical reviews on-line. They are, however, all laboring under at least one serious handicap: they are not me, and they aren’t writing reviews for me. Reviewers make absurd generalizations like “This is a cookbook that will appeal to novices who cook at home” or “This is a cookbook that I only recommend to professional pastry chefs who are well-versed in molecular gastronomy”. But none of them are specific enough to say, simply, “This is a book Ted would like,” and include in it stories about what Ted accidentally set on fire while trying to cook from it. This situation is deplorable, and I intend to correct it, one week at a time.
I have no affiliation with advertisers, restaurants, publishers, or talent. If some lovely people want to send me free stuff, I am happy to try their free stuff and write about it, acknowledging their contributions. No lovely people have applied, however, perhaps because my reviews tend to be unpredictable, perhaps because my only subscribers are my two cats. One day, however, I dream that publishers will send me free copies of books written by their competitors. “I’ve heard you didn’t really think Ad Hoc at Home was all that special. Would you like to have a go at Under Pressure, Thomas Keller’s contribution to the culinary traditions of boil-in-a-bag?” Yes, yes, and again yes.
My website also has no affiliation with Anthony Bourdain’s work Kitchen Confidential other than that I’m not good with names and recently learned that book titles aren’t copyrightable. Please look forward to my new blogs, “Cooking in the Time of Cholera” and “A Hundred Years of Salsify” due out later this year.