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Forking Fantastic: a Cookbook for the Rest of Us

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Recently Oliver, our Resident Bargain Whorespondent, introduced me to someone saying, “This is Stuart, he cooks less than anyone I know”.  Which is probably true.  Just last night I convinced…ahem, attempted to convince my lady that I was a culinary genius because I made an aioli out of Sriracha, mayo and olive oil for a turkey burger from our freezer.  That was the most “cooking” I’d done in a long time.  BUT Forking Fantastic might change all of that.

As you may have noticed I like to party.  It’s not just the drinking and cavorting that I love (although I really, really do love that), it’s also the socializing and entertaining as well.  I don’t just enjoy going to parties, I like to throw them too.  That’s where Forking Fantastic comes in.  Within its 200+ pages are more than 50 recipes specifically created for dinner parties.  Sure, the potluck thing is great but there are also those times when you convince yourself that you wanna cook for a ton of people…or so I’ve been told.

Luckily, authors Zora O’Neill and Tamara Reynolds have plenty of experience doing this.  They started doing Sunday Night Dinners — a weekly underground diner club in Astoria, Queens — back in 2002 and now their invite list is over 400 people!!  Of course they weren’t cooking for that many bodies each week, but they were shaking some pots and pans for 25+ people on a regular basis.

They originally wanted to call the book Fucking Delicious.  I bet you can see why.

They originally wanted to call the book "Fucking Delicious". I bet you can see why.

This book is great, it’s extremely well written (backgrounds, histories, and story telling) and even includes how to properly plan and execute a dinner party, not just how to cook for one.  AND they use bad words, lots of them.  This of course makes them one of us.  But the best part is that, instead of reading like a textbook, Forking Fantastic comes off like your homegirl is breaking down all the intricacies of how to throw a party a bad-ass, motherfucking party.  In fact, reading it would probably make Julia Child cry (if she wasn’t underground with her tear ducts serving as worm food), which is probably why Anthony Bourdain said that this, “may well be the cookbook America needs right now.”  How the fuck is that for an endorsement?

If all this sounds good to you, you should totally check out their website, where you can peep photos and video of their huge dinner parties as well as buy the book.

Just one last thing, don’t forget to invite me to your fiesta.  I’ll bring some beer.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.

1 Comment

  1. […] from my Lonely Planet days and Tamara and Zora wrote the book Forking Fantastic together. We even reviewed it on this site. In fact, Tamara was even supposed to write for come never finished her […]