Food For Thought – The Guy Can’t Cook

CindaThis week on Food for Thought, meet Cinda Chavich, author of ‘The Guy Can’t Cook’.  Click here to listen to the audio file.  Cinda is based in Calgary, but visited my kitchen in Vancouver yesterday to teach me how to whip up chicken saltimbocca and saffron risotto.  To see photos from our cooking visit the Facebook album I created.

CONTEST!! I have two copies of the book to give away, thanks to Whitecap Books.  Just scroll down to the bottom of this page and enter a short note into the ‘Comments’ box about your guy who can, or can’t cook!  Dining disaster or sublime saucy success, I want to hear both kinds of stories.  Contest Deadline is Friday, October 19th.  Go for it!  (please let me know what city or town you are writing from in case some of the CBC Radio stations across the country want to read your entry)  The contest is NOW CLOSED.  Winners announced soon!

Img_5575 Pictured at left is the chicken and risotto dish Cinda walked me through.  If you can’t wait to see if you win the book, you can always order it right now through and save 37% off the cover price!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
This entry was posted in Contests, Food For Thought. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Food For Thought – The Guy Can’t Cook

  1. Jamie Fligg says:

    Hi Don,
    I like to cook, I like to experiment, and my wife and I are very open to trying new menu items, but like many, we do fall into the rut of the usual and the familiar all too often. In any case, right or wrong, my wife does do a lot of the cooking in our house. We are both busy with work, and we share in the food prep, but I am often on “Salad Duty”. There is nothing wrong with salad duty, and I enjoy adding as many ingredients as I can find in the fridge. The point of my story, however, is this: When I do cook, I really get into it, I’ll take a new recipe and do everything I can to make it according to the recipe (at least the first time). In the process, I seem to use every implement, measuring cup and sauce pan in our kitchen to produce even the most modest looking meals in the end! I find it humourous, my wife however is continually dumbfounded by my feats and often can’t be in the kitchen when I’m cooking. In the end, she enjoys what I prepare, she just can’t stand to watch the preparation!

    So, this guy can cook (but I’m always looking for a little help here and there), but maybe not to the standards of some! 🙂

  2. Gail Klippenstein says:

    Dear Don
    We have a thirteen year old son who loves to cook. My husband and I have limited cooking talents and we need a little help. “The Guy can’t Cook” would be an asset to all in our household.

  3. Diane Parenti says:

    My husband certainly can’t cook, and I’m sure Cinda Chavich’s book would help him. He thinks you need a recipe for everything, and he can’t improvise. It’s not that he really hates cooking, but I think it makes him a little nervous. The cookbook sounds really helpful.
    Thanks, and I hope I win!

  4. Rick Macdonald says:

    Hi Don,
    I am finding myself having to cook meals more frequently at home lately. I could use a little help in this area so that I can feel more relaxed about it and have great tasting meals.

  5. Pat Katz says:

    Hi Don:

    Yes! Yes! Yes! My guy CAN cook. In fact he loves to cook – a fact for which I am forever grateful, because it’s not my thing at all. I’d rather be digging in the garden!

    We’ve been married for 33 years now. For the last 30 years, Dave has taken on all the cooking duties for our family.

    When speaker colleagues of mine travel through Saskatoon (where we live), they’re delighted to receive an invitation for a Dave cooked meal. His reputation for putting fabulous food on the table now stretches from Halifax to Vancouver.

    His combined passion for cooking and fascination with science led him to create a weblog on which he answers food and cooking questions. Check it out at It’s a pure labour of love – because food is not what he does to make a living!

    Dave’s got 22 running feet of bookshelves filled with cookbooks. I know, because out of curiosity, I just measured. That doesn’t even begin to include his extensive collection of food magazines. What’s more – he’s read them all!

    However, he does not have Cinda’s new book. And I know he’d love to add it to his library.

    All the best, Pat Katz

    PS – We’ve just booked a trip to Europe (including France and Italy) for next fall to celebrate his upcoming milestone birthday. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be dipping into your online stories from your year in Colorno. Maybe he’ll even send you a story or two from our adventure.

  6. lety schalm says:

    Hi Don, just wanted you to know that the main man in our home can cook. He has two great accomplishments in his culinary skills.When he makes pancakes they are the fluffiest ever, and he likes to serve them with ice cream !! His most recent claim to fame is his “killer chili”. The kids could always tell when I had made the chilli and not dad. Now I don’t even bother to try. It has been renowned at church potlucks, school camping trips and when the boys have friends over for supper.The guy can cook!!

  7. Kirsti Ziola says:

    Hi Don,
    I love to cook. I have always loved experimenting with food and different flavours. My soon-to-be hubby loves to eat! He always says self-depreciatingly, ‘I can’t cook’. But really he can! The few dishes that he has been brave enough to try have been wonderful. He thinks he is a terrible cook because he has to follow a recipe ‘to the letter’. He thinks you’re only a good cook if you can throw things together without measuring. Cinda Chavich made a interesting point this afternoon when she pointed out ‘not having learned how to cook’. All the skills I take for granted (knowing how to ‘sweat onions’ etc…) my partner doesn’t understand. It sounds like this new book is right up his alley for helping him learn those skills that are second nature to me!

  8. Lucy says:

    My Guy Jeremy can…sometimes cook! But he’s a great procurer. We love going out in the bush for mushrooms and other wildfoods with our two year old son.
    Jer hunts small game and does a great roast, or we’ll have a sunday morning wild mushroom omelette. Recently we’ve been pleasantly surprised by his cattail pollen pancakes and not so pleasantly surprised by red acorn experiments.
    I enjoyed your talk, Happy Thanksgiving – Lucy

  9. Mary-Ann Stark says:

    I am happy to say that in my house, one guy can cook and one guy can bake. My husband, Don, has taken over in the kitchen because, quite frankly, he’s better at it than I am! (The deal in our house is I do laundry – he does dinner.) My fifteen-year-old son, Klay, claims he doesn’t know how to cook, however, he bakes a mean batch of banana muffins – from scratch! Now that I’m done school and working three jobs, my husband (who is working a lot of overtime these days) and I would dearly love it if Klay would put the same energy and talent that he puts into his baking into helping get dinner on the table each night. Perhaps a copy of “The Guy Can’t Cook” would provide the necessary inspiration. Food for thought!

  10. Eva says:

    My guy is a great cook! He has cookbooks beside his bed, in the “throneroom”, on bookshelves everywhere in our house. He also loves to read about cooks and their experiences (ie., Heat). He also teaches our daughter, 12, to cook and now she wants to be a chef when she grows up. All of our friends keep inviting themselves to our place for dinner. And what do i do? Eat, clean and buy him more cook books!!

  11. Heather Lewis says:

    My guy can cook – he just doesn’t know it yet! I am the chief cook and bottle washer in our family of five, and Daddy generally takes care of our three kids while I’m making the meals. On the rare occasion that Daddy HAS to prepare food, this intelligent, creative man typically reverts to his old stand-by “tomatoe soup and grilled cheese sandwiches”. BUT he has on a few WONDERFUL occasions made absolutely fantastic pasta and he can cook meat and fish on the bbq to perfection. If he had a copy of “the Guy Can’t Cook” in his hands he would have no excuse but to broaden and stretch his culinary muscles even more! Plus this would be a wonderful example to our son who is developing the scary opinion that only Mommy’s can do all the cooking. YIKES!

  12. Anneke van Alderwegen says:

    I feel very fortunate to have a husband that can cook and for the most part enjoys it. The challenge is he does not usually follow recipes very well, so if something is delicious it might never be repeated again! This cookbook sounds fabulous and would probably help to inspire the sometimes mundane task of trying to come up with a meal that will satisfy the likes of me (his wife)and three kids aged 8, 5 and 2.
    Thanks very much!

  13. Laurie Blakely says:

    Hey Don,
    My spouse of 20 years has forgotten how to cook. When we used to live in Kitsilano, with just one child in the mix, we would stroll down to Granville Island Market on weekends, stock up on fresh ingredients, and he would cook us amazing meals. Now, so many years later with more time eaten up by career and kids(4 at home at the moment) and home building, his culinary talents seem to have eroded. If he can’t seem to find a recipe on the back of a soup can or create something to have alongside a frozen meat pie, he is often stuck! To his credit though, I must say he is awfully good at washing the dishes. And I have overheard our kids proclaim that he is a superior baker! So the guy could cook and perhaps “The Guy Can’t Cook” will help bolster his confidence and abilities. Always look forward to your show and frequent your site, thanks.

  14. Angie says:

    It took me ten years to figure out that ‘my guy’ CAN cook. He would ‘cook’ KD for himself (I refuse to…) on weekends, and he always makes his own lunches for work. But ultimately, I have been the one ‘monopolizing’ the kitchen…not always willingly, but definitely the cook in the house. How? you ask did ‘my guy’ finally get his feet wet in the kitchen? (or his hands dirty at least…there were no puddles involved) Well, it was a mixed blessing. He had gotten hurt during a karate tournament in the late spring and he damaged his ACL. Of course this accident had to be the year we were also building our dream home, but he diligently hobbled to the house site daily to monitor the progress. Much to my chagrin, he stubbornly worked with his crutches. He was off work for months waiting for a specialist. As a teacher, I had the summer off and continued to work in the kitchen. But once school began, ‘my guy’ took the reigns and began to show off his culinary skills. Not once did I come home to KD or frozen dinner or take out. He would scour the internet for dishes to create and most of his creations were delicious. Of course, his knee healed and we went back to our ‘designated posts’ in life, that being me in the kitchen and he in the back yard. Once in a while he will treat me with dinner prepared in the fridge so all I have to do is warm up the oven…but those are too far and few inbetween. I often joke that I should join karate so I can fight him and work on the other knee so he will have the time to surf the net for new recipes and to refamiliarize himself with the kitchen. I have joined karate this year but do not forsee anything more than verbal arguments between us!!! But if he had a copy of “The Guy Can’t Cook” laying around, he may peruse the pages and recall the joy he had ‘when he had time to cook’ and even pick up a pot or pan!!

  15. Gini says:

    Hi Don,
    My guy can’t cook and what’s more he won’t cook! For many years he pestered me to let him cook. I was not completely averse to the idea but the thought of dealing with the ensuing cleanup definitely had something to do with my reluctance. Finally I decided to let him at it. I bought him a special cookbook and was very encouraging. I promised to help him with his first attempts if he so desired. The very first recipe he decided to try was “Thai Chicken Curry in Coconut Milk”. This sounds innocent enough but unknow to us, lurking in the recipe was “4 tsp of red curry paste”. Neither of us had ever cooked Thai food so we did not realize what RED CURRY PASTE really was. We assembled all the ingredients and after heating the oil in the pan, my guy added the red curry paste as per the instructions. Almost immediately invisible choking, breath-robbing fumes filled the kitchen. I’ve never experienced the effects of tear gas but, with my eyes flooded with tears and no air in my lungs I ran for the door. Somehow my guy survived and actually produced a very nice meal for us but in margin of that cookbook I noticed afterward that he had written “easy on the red curry paste”. He went on to try at least five other recipes from that book but eventually his interest in cooking fizzled and he no longer pesters me to let him cook. Still, you never know, maybe another book such as “The Guy Can’t Cook” will rekindle his interest.

  16. Maja (Kelowna) says:

    Hey Don!
    When my husband and I first met, I lived in Vancouver and he in Kelowna and it was a bit of a fiasco trying to find eachother’s contact info after our first chance meeting. When we finally did, he called me to let me know he was in Vancouver, and did I want to get together for dinner? We decided we should eat in…his version of the story is that I proclaimed that I wasn’t a very good cook and could he bring dinner?…I simply remember that being a gentleman, he offered. As his limited knowledge of me included that I was a dietitian…he was more than a little afraid! In the end, the meal was delicious and obviously the chemistry was strong! Since then, life has somehow moved me into the kitchen despite the fact that my guy can cook! But as he prefers a guide when cooking, I’m hoping this cookbook might re-inspire him!

  17. Sarah Wakefield says:

    Hi Don!
    I fell for my guy when he took me to a pasta place here in Victoria called least he knows where to go for good food!
    He finally won me over with his best impress-the-girl-trick; strawberries dipped in belgian chocolate. I’m thinking he may have potential.
    Love the show!
    Sarah from Victoria

  18. Maureen says:

    Hi Don…I heard the show today while driving, and thought…what a fabulous book that sounds. I have two wonderful guys in my life, my husband of 25 years, and my 14 year old son. My husband is a terrific cook, and over the years has appropriated many of my recipes and made them his own. This could be infuriating, except that I am very happy to be the soup and salad chef in our house. The highlight was when he made borsch, from my Baba’s recipe, and it was the best I have ever had! My eldest daughter is also a marvelous cook, and my younger daughter is a great, but somewhat unwilling cook, rather like her mother. My son, 14, is also a reluctant cook, but he is required to cook one meal a week, as part of his home learning curriculum. The Guy Can’t Cook sounds like just the ticket for him, with lots of menu ideas and recipes. We have another challenge in our family, and that is to make everything gluten free; we are getting pretty savvy with adjusting most recipes….from the sounds of it, the Guy Can’t Cook has lots of GF recipes. So, for my son, and for his mother who is always looking for new ideas to help with the often demoralizing job of meal planning for a busy family, I submit this comment, and keep my fingers crossed. Thanks for a great show!

  19. Brenda Marshall says:

    My husband had a few really good recipes but his best is a killer caesar salad made from scratch. It is better than anything I have ever tasted in a restaurant. Not following his secret recipe too carefully has resulted in some VERY hot caesar salads for large groups of people. He needs a cookbook that he will follow!
    Mission, B. C.

  20. Carole says:

    My husband and I have been married for 45 years. In all that time he has been faithful, kind, and supportive of all my hairbrain schemes. He can fix anything, make anything and he keeps my car washed. He is intelligent and inquisitive.
    Cooking however is not is not one of his attributes and his culinary expertise doesn’t entend beyond frying a pork chop or making a sandwich. I suspect it’s now too late to expect miracles in the kitchen from him, but maybe you really can teach an old dog new tricks.

Comments are closed.