“Women love a man who can cook,” says Dan Churchill. “What is sexier than seeing a man in nothing but an apron?”
This cookbook is all about food for dudes or DudeFood by personal trainer, food lover and Masterchef contestant Dan Churchill. While it’s aimed at the dudes, the girls might like the photos of the hunky dudes that are spread throughout the book, along with the delicious dishes.
Dan was a personal trainer before he was a chef and wrote the draft of many of these recipes before he even attended a cooking class. “But I had always loved to eat, and I had been cooking since I was twelve years old,” he says of DudeFood.
Dan began cooking for his mum and dad and two brothers, then his footy mates and later, to impress girls . In turn his mates were impressed too and he started writing down the recipes for them. “I started to realise I was writing a cookbook,” he says.
Comparisons to a younger Jamie Oliver are inevitable – Dan’s recipes are simple but tasty and his cookbook is peppered with laddish banter and photos of Dan with his mates, or should we say, dudes. Whereas Jamie is the chirpy Londoner, Dan is the down-to-earth Aussie from Sydney’s northern beaches. And it’s simple, hearty Aussie fare – for the barbecue, to impress a girl, for a post-workout meal.
The book is full of handy hints, such as how to stock your pantry, and the recipes call for simple, readily available ingredients that can be found in the local grocery store. “I promised my mates I would not include anything in my recipes that they never would have heard of, let alone spelled,” says Dan. “I wrote DudeFood in a language I like to call ‘colloquial dude’. Cheers, brah!”
Just a quick look at the chapter headings tells you much of what you need to know about DudeFood: Foods That Last; Sandwiching the Gym; The Hangover Cure; Cut Your Calories; Finger-Licking Feeds, Super Sides; How to Impress A Girl. Each of the recipes is accompanied by mouthwatering photography. There’s classic male fare such as Lamb Meatball Wraps and the ‘Basic Bro Burger’ and there’s food aimed at specific purposes such as San Choy Bow for Thursday-night football guests. There’s also super healthy yet tasty fare, like the ‘(Friggin’) Amazing Salad’ and ‘The Food That Lasts’ section is ideal for the guy who wants to cook up bigger portions to have the through the week – saving precious time and cash – such as the Chicken Avo Pie.
According to Dan, one of his motivations in writing DudeFood is because women have a problem with Australian men and it’s that they don’t do enough cooking. With stereotypes of men going out to work and women staying home to cook no longer relevant, young men need to cook, he says. Apparently men are intimidated by long ingredient lists and pages of directions and that’s why he aims to keep everything simple.
Since his appearances on Masterchef, Dan has been a regular in front of the TV screen with regular appearances on Channel 7s Sunrise and he is the regular cook on Healthy Me TV. He also has an active blog and web series, demonstrating key cooking techniques and skills as well as travel posts and recipe updates.
Growing up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Dan loves the beach and if he’s not cooking, at the gym or watching sport, that’s where you’ll find him.
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