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Look who’s making dinner! Twenty-one of our favorite writers and chefs expound upon the joys—and perils—of feeding their families.

Mario Batali’s kids gobble up monkfish liver and foie gras. Peter Kaminsky’s youngest daughter won’t eat anything at all. Mark Bittman reveals the four stages of learning to cook. Stephen King offers tips about what to cook when you don’t feel like cooking. And Jim Harrison shows how good food and wine trump expensive cars and houses.

This book celebrates those who toil behind the stove, trying to nourish and please. Their tales are accompanied by more than sixty family-tested recipes, time-saving tips, and cookbook recommendations, as well as New Yorker cartoons. Plus there are interviews with homestyle heroes from all across America—a fireman in Brooklyn, a football coach in Atlanta, and a bond trader in Los Angeles, among others.

What emerges is a book not just about food but about our changing families. It offers a newfound community for any man who proudly dons an apron and inspiration for those who have yet to pick up the spatula.

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Meet the Author
John Donohue headshot

John Donohue

More about the author
Review quotes
“Inspirational, heartwarming tales of fathers in the kitchen…An engaging collection that should
inspire comfort for the man who cooks while his baby bangs on the pots and pans.”—Kirkus Reviews
— Saveur
“Throughout the book, what comes across strongest is the authors’ love for the joy of providing for
their families in a newly satisfying way. Mario Batali explains it perfectly: ‘The best reason to cook,
besides its being delicious and good for you, is that it will automatically make you look good. You’ll
look like a hero every day.’ It’s a wonder, in fact, that we let women in the kitchen at all.”—Saveur

— Booklist
“Donohue piles his plate high with writers, chefs, artists, and businessmen to serve up this
multi-author work devoted to modern fathers everywhere…Readers won’t have any trouble
recognizing which pieces came from professional writers and which from stock-exchange gents, but
they will hungrily anticipate each man-with-a-pan’s “signature dish,” placed at the end of his chapter,
along with a recipe and a list of some of his favorite cookery books.”—Booklist
— Library Journal
"This well-organized compilation breaks free from its tidy package with adaptable, exciting recipes like Beer-Can Chicken, Peanut Butter Soup, Carbonara de Zucchine, and Mexican Chocolate Pie. It trades stereotypes for truisms and is all the more authentic for it. Highly recommended."—Library Journal
— The Daily Beast
“It’s a really great rhyme, so what’s not to love? This isn’t one of those best-of collections filled with essays that have already been anthologized to death, but an intimate sprinkling of bites and bits put together by John Donohue a New Yorker editor, who says that he does almost all the cooking for his family.”—The Daily Beast
— The Smithsonian
Man With a Pan: New Yorker editor John Donahoe offers this collection of essays—and yes, a few recipes—in which notable personalities from author Stephen King to chef Mario Batali open up about their foibles and triumphs in the kitchen. If nothing else, it reinforces the idea that learning how to make meals for loved ones is a wonderful way to provide for one’s family.”—The Smithsonian (online)
— USA Today
“Fathers from chef Mario Batali to novelist Stephen King offer up tips for putting supper on the table.”—USA Today
— Philadelphia Inquirer
“The book is a clever mixture of food stories from a variety of guys - including Stephen King (with a recipe for Pretty Good Cake, and no one dies) and Bittman himself.”—Philadelphia Inquirer
— Newsday
“Thirty-four writers share their kitchen war stories and their recipes in this delightful anthology, perfect for any dad who's had to whip up a weekday supper.”—Newsday
— Daily Candy
“For the thinking man/chef, Man with a Pan is an honest collection of essays and recipes by fathers who cook.”—Daily Candy
“[A] delightful story collection by men whose professions (may) involve a lot of writing and who all love to cook.”—Epicurious
— Entertainment Weekly
“Culinary anecdotes and stories from foodie fathers like chef Mario Batali.”—Entertainment Weekly
— BookPage
“Donohue cleverly peppers the text with funny, sophisticated cartoons, making Man with a Pan uniquely smart and also very useful. A must-have for kitchen-friendly dads, this volume should reap rewards down the road for family appetites everywhere.”—BookPage
— New York Times
“A rangy, toothsome, timely…collection of essays by kitchen dads…Man With a Pan contains essays (and recipes) by marquee names including Stephen King — isn’t it time he set a scary novel in a Hardee’s? — and Mario Batali. But the best pieces here, the line-caught beauties, are by people you’ve probably barely heard of.”—New York Times
— Largehearted Boy
“Essays [that] are always entertaining... Man with a Pan can be enjoyed for its culinary essays, its recipes, or its cartoons, but taken as a whole is one of the food books of the year.”—Largehearted Boy
— Wall Street Journal
“An entertaining look at the widening world of dads-in-the-kitchen.”—Wall Street Journal
Product Details
Number of pages
Publication date
May 17, 2011