May 3, 2008

Don't Google the Google Chef

Food%202point0.jpgEmployee number 53, Charlie Ayers was hired in 1999 to run the lunchroom at Google. Before that, he'd been catering for musicians (including the Grateful Dead) around San Francisco. By the time he left six years later, still a hippie at heart, his staff of 150 was feeding 4,000 googlers a day at 10 locations. ("Well, wouldn't you know it,some people got fat.")

In a new cookbook, Food 2.0, Ayers wraps his "earth-friendly" culinary philosophy in elegant packaging from the folks at Dorling Kindersely. Divided into sections titled Smart Choices, the Smart Pantry and Smart Recipes, interspersed with "smart" words of wisdom like this: "Each meal is an opportunity to make a difference--in your body and your world."

The basic philosophy is expressed early-on: "Fast, raw, and organic: that's what I'm thinking when I cook." The emphasis, all too often, is on fast, though Ayers also confesses to liking beer ("a happiness item") and chocolate ("a non-geotiable part of my life"). Lots of granola, lots of smoothies, as one might expect. He freezes things with abandon: meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, and disdains the microwave in favor of the crockpot. I was confounded, however, by a recipe for something called Glace de Vien, a reduction of bourbon, port, beef stock and herbs. What's that, pray tell? Googled it, I did. "No results found." A non-traditional, cutting-edge meat glace de viande, ya think? Or was the copy editor just out to lunch?

Decide for yourselves! The publishers will send free books to the first three Cornichon readers who ask. Click here to request a copy. Don't forget to include an address where the escargot can find you.

UPDATE: No more books, but...If you want to ask him in person, you can check out his
Seattle-area book signing:

Thursday, May 8
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM - Talk & book signing

Third Place Books
17171 Bothel Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

Posted by Ronald Holden at May 3, 2008 10:36 AM | TrackBack

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