The Four Hour Chef - Tim Ferris


I don't like Tim Ferris.  Since he came to fame for writing the Four Hour Work Week he's been fetêd by the on-line geek community, but let's remember what his central thesis is: His week is mostly of no value.  He can play whilst the rest of us, who don't have the luxury of his tricks of being able to out-source his life, have to work because we put 38 hours of value into each 38 hour working week.

Yet in another way, I quite like him, so after watching the publicity he's put out for his new book (in the new trendy and underhand way of publicising - being interviewed for productivity blogs, doing TED talks and so forth) I decided to give his Four Hour Chef book a go.

And actually, it wasn't too bad.  Despite one major cultural problem (I'm vegetarian, he's describing cooking nearly exclusively meat dishes) it was an interesting read to a point.

He starts with his evolving way of learning new skills, which is a decent description of how to strategise and prioritise learning (but is better explained in Josh Kaufmann's The first 20 hours, and you can see his TED talk where he describes it all for free).  Then he moves on to cooking and again it's wonderfully deconstructed so that the complex is reduced to easily learnable and scalable basics.

A sour point is how much of the book is turned over to product placement.  No, I will not be buying the tools he promotes or the wines he recommends from his friends websites.

If you can stomach his overeager personality and his constant demands to use products easily accessible to angel investors in California, then it's well worth a read.

The Four Hour Chef is available from all good UK bookstores, and Amazon.  Eternal Walkabout is a infrequent writer who needs to write more.

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