Book review: Entertain Like a Gentleman

Due out January 1st, 2011 (and available for pre-purchase on, Entertain Like a Gentleman by David Harap could become the next go to guide for any man who needs to learn to entertain!

Product Description:

Entertain Like a GentlemanKnowing how to entertain for that special date or for a large crowd is the epitome of being a gentleman. There is no stronger way to impress someone than by showcasing your culinary skills. Bachelor Chef and culinary instructor David Harap has created a series of menus that any man can make his own. This book helps men create unforgettable meals for their guests without stress or needing years of cooking school. In addition to many exciting recipes for every occasion, that are tons of tips and secrets on how to become the ultimate host. Memorable meals made easy.
Entertain Like a Gentleman presents over 75 original recipes developed over Harap's years of experience cooking, entertaining and teaching cooking classes in the Austin, Texas area, part how-to-guide, Entertain Like a Gentleman is organized into 16 chapters to cover all types of gatherings, from Super Bowl parties to Scotch tastings, intimate dinners to breakfast in bed.  The impressive yet easy-to-prepare recipes use common ingredients and are interspersed with practical tips to help the host keep the festivities on track.
My Review:
I am reserving copies of this book for every man in my life (except my dad - cause he could have written this book ;).  My favorite chapters are Breakfast in Bed and Cheese and wine party, but the recipes in Cooking with Kiddos look great too!   This book reminds me of the lessons taught to unsuspecting men in the TV show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

I really like how the recipes are laid out - with the instructions first and the ingredients and equipment listed down the right hand side, with the ingredients listed like a shopping list - ingredient first, amount second.  The tips are great too - for men or women - and help you to break down your entertainment planning and cooking chores into easy to accomplish steps.  This book is all about being impressive without being difficult.
My absolute favorite recipe in Entertain Like a Gentleman came from the chapter called Cocktail Party Finger Foods and it's enough to make me forget I'm allergic to chocolate:
White Chocolate Spice Cookies
Not only do these cookies looks cool, but they have great flavor and texture.  The subtle spiciness in the cookies along with the white chocolate makes these a sinfully grown up cookie.
Shopping List:
All purpose flour, 2 cups 
Light brown sugar, 2/3 cup, 
Firmly packed Ground ginger, 1 teaspoon 
Fresh-ground pepper, 3/4 teaspoon 
Baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon 
Unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon 
Ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon
Ground allspice, 1/2 teaspoon
Salt, healthy pinch
Unsalted butter, 1 cup (1/2 pound)
Vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon
Lemon, for lemon zest
White chocolate chips or pieces, 6 ounces
Vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon
Semi-sweet chocolate chips or pieces, 2 ounces


Food processor 
lemon zester
wax paper 
baking sheet
non-stick silicone pad or parchment paper
metal mixing bowl to use as a double boiler


Preheat oven to 325F

You can mix everything by hand but it is so much easier to make the recipe using a food processor.  Cut the butter into 1/2 inch pieces.  In a food processor mix together at a slow speed the flouer, sugar, gunger, pepper, baking soda, cocoa powder, cinnamon, allspice and salt.  Slowly add the butter one or two pieces at a time until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Zest the lemon; you should have about two teaspoons worth of zest.  In a small bowl, mix together vanilla, lemon peel and 1 tablespooon water.  Add to food processor or bowl; whirl or stir until dough forms a ball.

Place the dough in the middle of a large sheet of wax paper.  Fold the wax paper over the dough and start to form dough into a log.  Work the dough so it becomes an even and smooth cylinder.  Place the dough in the refrigerator and chil rolled dough until firm, about 45 minutes (or freeze about 25 minute)

Slice the log into 1/2 inch slices and place on a baking sheet lined with a non-stick pad or parchment paper. Place 1/2 inch apart; they will spread slightly while cooking.

Bake cookies in a 325F oven until pale brown, about 15 minutes.  Transfer to racks to cool completely.

To melt white chocolate, place white chocolate and vegetable oil in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (bottom of bowl should not touch water).  Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.  Take off heat.

Dip each cookie about 2/3 of the way into white chocolate mixture, then place on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.  Set aside and let the chocolate glaze harden.

While the white chocolate glaze is hardening, melt the semisweet chocolate using the same method.

When the semisweet chocolate is melted and smooth, use a fork to drizzle the chocolate over the cookies in a random pattern... imagine what the artist Jackson Pollock would do.  Let the chocolate harden.

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for a few days.  Place wax paper between the layers of cookies so they do not stick together.

About the author:

Culinary instructor David Harap has had a passion for food and cooking since he was a child.

David HarapWorking in commercial kitchens and catering halls to help put himself through Cornell University, David built a solid knowledge base of culinary fundamentals. His cooking style is very much influenced by his global travels and blends international culinary techniques with local and seasonal products. David teaches a wide range of classes, including many on entertaining, at the Central Market Cooking School and hosts an underground supper club, Austin Bite Club. He is also a partner and Global Practice Leader with Stanton Chase International, a leading global executive search firm

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book at no charge for the purpose of completing this review.  All opinions are my own.