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Booty Food - Cookbook Review

A Date By Date, Nibble by Nibble, Course by Course Guide to Cultivating Love and Passion Through Food

by Jacqui Malouf with Liz Gumbinner

(Bloomsbury USA, 2004)

Booty Food: A Date By Date, Nibble by Nibble, Course by Course Guide to Cultivating Love and Passion Through Food

Combining food and romance, Food Network personality and Angeleno Jacqui Malouf (along with writer Liz Gumbinner) penned Booty Food, "a date-by-date, course-by-course, nibble-by-nibble guide to cultivating love and passion through food."

Malouf, known best as the cohost on "Hot off the Grill with Bobby Flay," puts forth a diligent and comprehensive treatise on the connection between food and relationships — "Couples who cook together in the kitchen cook together in life." In more than 250 weighty and colorful pages, we journey through the life of a relationship, from First Date Eating, to The Marathon of Lust, to Everything Old is New Again. It's part dating manual, part therapist, part relationship advice and part food guide and cookbook.

It's easy to dismiss a book like this as gimmicky. Malouf, however, has put a great deal of effort into her work. While the message is serious, the book is still a lot of fun, with lots of banter, winks and naughtiness. It is both entertaining and informative, and appropriately blunt at times. It will help you buy a good selection of kitchen tools, teach you how to behave appropriately in many circumstances (including dinner with the parents), and cook grilled lamb chops with shaved-truffle gnocchi. You'll find opinions on what to order "when cooking is the last thing on your mind," as well as help with mending a broken heart with the "booty food breakup food pyramid," which includes plenty of chocolate, cake and ice cream.

This only scratches the surface. Booty Food's recipes are written with two in mind, and range from crispy calamari with caper aioli, silky five-star butternut squash soup, and Bistecca all Fiorentina to white truffle mac and cheese, to rice pudding. It's altogether delicious, provocative and necessary.


Reviewed by Kevin Schoeler



(Updated: 01/24/12 CT)

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