One thing most small-business owners don't have is time, which is why books by Tim Ferriss are so popular with entrepreneurs—they all revolve around the idea of taking intelligent shortcuts. His bestselling The 4-Hour Workweek, along with his followup, The 4-Hour Body, may have just been precursors to his mammoth new book, The 4-Hour Chef. At more than 600 pages, it's easily over four pounds and is certainly not meant to be read in four hours.
The title, while extending his brand of books, is a bit of a misnomer. More than a cookbook, The 4-Hour Chef is a choose-your-own adventure guide to rapid learning, enabling you to master everything inside the kitchen and apply it to everything outside the kitchen.
Who's Got 10,000 Hours?
According to Ferriss, the widely heralded “10,000-Hour Rule”—the number of hours thought to be required to achieve mastery in anything—is entirely beatable. In his view, it is possible to become world-class at just about anything in six months or less, and he's done a fair job of proving it: he's a world record holder in tango dancing, a national champion in kickboxing, speaks five languages, and has topped the New York Times not just once, but twice.
To discover the very best rapid learning techniques, Ferriss traveled from Manhattan to Okinawa, and from Silicon Valley to Calcutta, unearthing the secrets of the world’s fastest learners and greatest chefs. He simply uses cooking to explain how his step-by-step meta-learning process can be used to master anything, be it searing steak, learning to swim or speaking fluent Spanish in eight weeks. The process of figuring it out—the grandest ‘recipe’ of all—is the same.
Cooking as a GatewayHundreds of interviews and experiments were the starting point. The result is a practical and unusual guide to mastering both cooking and life, featuring recipes, tips and tricks from chess prodigies, chefs, professional athletes, master sommeliers, supermodels and everyone in between. Ferriss believes cooking is the gateway skill to all others.
The book has five sections:
Meta-Learning introduces the core principles of accelerated learning.
The Domestic reduces cooking to its essential building blocks. In roughly four hours of total prep time, you’ll acquire the most powerful and versatile techniques from culinary school.
The Wild shows you how to become self-sufficient. It includes everything from fermentation and pickling, to foraging and hunting—whether in the wilderness or in city parks.
The Scientist explains the science of cooking and biochemical tricks for fat loss.
The Professional shows how the best in the world became the best, and how you can apply the same strategies successfully to your own interests and passions.
Rapid learning, thorough preparation, self-sufficiency, scientific method and the disciplined pursuit of perfection are invaluable qualities for anyone in business.
Along the way, you’ll learn hundreds of unusual tips and solutions, including how to:
- Indulge in gluttonous holiday meals like the “TurBacon” without gaining an ounce of fat
- Make the perfect cup of coffee—even if seated on an airplane—with the latest gadgets
- Cook sea bass in a bathroom sink in 20 minutes
- Scientifically engineer a meal for seduction, whether on a first date or 10th anniversary
- Create amazing cocktails like bacon-infused bourbon and tequila cigar-foam hot chocolate
- Get VIP treatment at restaurants and bars
- Cook without recipes confidently and calmly
- Memorize a deck of cards in less than 60 seconds
- Lose 20–150 pounds by using the best recipes from Ferriss’ The Slow-Carb Diet ®
By training you inside the kitchen for everything outside the kitchen, The 4-Hour Chef is a self-driven adventure in conquering the kitchen and any skill you’ve ever dreamed of mastering.
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Photo: Tim Ferriss / www.fourhourworkweek.com