The 4 Hour Chef by Timothy Ferris: A Cookbook Completely Unlike Any Other

A Review of a Book I Know You'll Love

The 4 Hour Chef by Timothy Ferriss Review

About a month ago, my husband handed me a book he’d bought for me on Amazon, The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Timothy Ferriss. The first thing I noticed was the size of this behemoth. HUGE (the book, not Mr. Ferriss)!

The second thing I noticed was the beautiful shiny cover. You can actually see your reflection in both the book’s jacket and the actual cover of the book.  Beautiful.

Naturally, like the cookbook crazed fanatic that I am, I dropped everything I was doing and sat down to get better acquainted with the newest member of my cookbook collection. It didn’t take long to realize that this was a lot more than just a cookbook.  This is the very reason my review is so delayed.  I’ve tried several times to sit down and write out my thoughts about The 4-Hour Chef but I have trouble lining them up.

As any writer who has face thoughts that refuse to line up in an orderly fashion knows, sometimes bullet points are the only way to go – it forces the thoughts to fall in line whether they want to or not.

  • I don’t like comparing people to other people – in fact, I normally detest it. Each person is an individual and making comparisons isn’t fair to either person being compared.  It implies that they aren’t 100 percent originals, which is absurd because everyone IS an individual. This is why I almost never make comparisons.  However, in this instance – for the sake of making a point – I have to.  I just may be Alton Brown’s biggest fan in the world (I’ve seen each of the Good Eats so many times I can recite them in my sleep).  I thought you should know what a solid Alton Brown fan I am, so you can appreciate the fact that I’m breaking my “thou mustn’t compare” rule – and further appreciate the fact that I’m comparing someone to Mr. Brown.  Alton Brown has fun with life. I think that’s why I’m such a fan. He takes any routine task and makes a party out of it.  Beating eggs becomes a memorable adventure when Alton does it.  Halfway through The 4 Hour Chef, the validity of the comparison struck me.  Timothy Ferriss also approaches life as a fun long party that he wouldn’t mind being the life of.  In fact, like Alton, he’d insist on it. Can you imagine how fun this makes a book he’s written?
  • The 4 Hour Chef is just as IDEAL for the new cook as it is the one who’s been at it for years and years and years and years….
  • The beautiful pictures  are as enjoyable as the great content.
  • There are plenty of great recipes that you’ll love.  Kale Chips, Meat Loaf, Beef Short Ribs, Chinese Chicken with Bok Choy, and Sexy Time Steak are just a few.  An Arugula, Avocado, and Roma Salad is another recipe that’ll blow you away.
  • As great as the recipes are, they aren’t even the main attraction of The 4 Hour Chef.  The knowledge and fresh, fun approach to all things cooking make this a book I highly recommend to everyone.
  • There’s a great section on making the perfect cup of coffee. Tim Ferriss shares information he learned from a bit of an expert, a World Barista Champion. It’s actually where I first read about the Aerobie AeroPress.
  • You’ll meet a lot of fascinating people through the author – people you won’t soon forget.
  • Another one of my favorite sections is titled, “Around the World in 44 Flavor Combinations.” A colorful chart gives you a few of the flavors associated with various regions of the world.  It’s priceless information if you love experimenting with cuisine around the world.
  • You’ll learn how to put together the ultimate pantry. Always have the right foods on hand to whip up a memorable meal at a moment’s notice.
  • In addition to a great deal of culinary information, there’s a LOT of great advice on eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, and even losing weight.  Great stuff.
  • If you’re looking for a gift idea for a foodie or new cook – simply put, look no further.

About the Author

Tim Ferriss is author of the #1 New York Times best sellers The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body. He’s been called “The Superman of Silicon Valley” by Wired, one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Business People” and “the world’s best guinea pig” by Newsweek, which ranked him in its top 10 “most powerful” personalities on the 2012 Digital 100 Power Index. He is an adviser and faculty member at Singularity University, based at NASA Ames Research Center, which focuses on leveraging accelerating technologies to address global problems. Tim’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, The Economist, and The New Yorker, among many others.

From the Back Cover:

The 4-Hour Chef isn’t just a cookbook. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure guide to the world of rapid learning.

#1 New York Times bestselling author (and lifelong non-cook) Tim Ferriss takes you from Manhattan to Okinawa, and from Silicon Valley to Calcutta, unearthing the secrets of the world’s fastest learners and greatest chefs. Ferriss uses cooking to explain “meta-learning,” a step-by-step process that can be used to master anything, whether searing steak or shooting 3-pointers in basketball. That is the real “recipe” of The 4-Hour Chef.

You’ll train inside the kitchen for everything outside the kitchen. Featuring tips and tricks from chess prodigies, world-renowned chefs, pro athletes, master sommeliers, super models, and everyone in between, this “cookbook for people who don’t buy cookbooks” is a guide to mastering cooking and life.

To Begin, You’ll Learn To:

  • Compress 6 months of culinary school into 48 hours.
  • Emulate the geniuses behind restaurants like Alinea, ABC Kitchen, Saison, Hearth, Riverpark, and others.
  • Cook world-class sea bass in a bathroom sink for 20 minutes.
  • Use food for seduction, whether on first dates or 10th anniversaries.
  • Cook an epic clambake in a garbage can.
  • Cook without recipes for a lifetime.

Following the Same Blueprint, You’ll Also Learn How To:

  • Speak fluent Spanish in 8 weeks.
  • Become a world record holder in tango after 5 months.
  • Memorize a deck of cards in less than 60 seconds.
  • Lose 20-150 pounds using the Slow-Carb Diet.

And that’s just the beginning!

(Review continued below)

The 4 Hour Chef by Timothy Ferriss

Cookbook Meets Cooking Tutorial Video Captures Meets the Coolest Textbook You Ever Saw

You know how amazing it is to sit back and watch a cooking show on the Food Network or Cooking Channel, right? You get to SEE how the recipe or food prep all comes together. I think that’s why cooking tutorial videos are so popular, too. People love seeing a recipe as much as they love reading the recipe.

The 4 Hour Chef is packed with pictures, like the ones shown in the picture above.  It’s honestly like great cooking tutorial videos are being laid out in front of you – complete with explanations, tips, and information you’ll wonder how you ever lived without.

The amount of time and effort that went into writing this epic cooking book – combined with the amount of time and effort that went into the countless beautiful and fun photographs is mind numbing.

The 4 Hour Chef strikes me as the craziest, coolest textbook you ever saw in your life.  PACKED with great information, it’s a complete education in cooking.  After reading this one book, you’ll feel as though you just graduated from culinary school, and you’ll have the skill set to back it up.

This wonderful book also makes an excellent coffee table book for your family and guests to enjoy.  Any page you flip open to is insanely enjoyable and unapologetically addictive.


The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life is, believe it or not, available on Amazon for just a little more than $20.  For a hardcover book of this size and value – that’s unheard of.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that I would pay three times that for this book.  I hope you’ll click through the link to read more about The 4 Hour Chef. You’ll find more pictures, information, and even videos.

The 4 Hour Chef is also available on Kindle for around $10.

The 4 Hour Chef by Timothy Ferriss

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