I have to say I’ve never been to a reading at Housing Works that didn’t get me super excited about the book being highlighted. For example, after the New Stories from the South reading in the fall, I started compulsively suggesting that people read all of the different versions of Wells Tower’s hilarious essay, “Retreat.” Now, after attending the Man With A Pan event on June 2, I feel the strong need to suggest that EVERYONE buy the book for their dads for Father’s Day—especially if they’d like to inspire a certain someone to make them Mexican chocolate pie, homemade mac and cheese, or pistachio pesto (to name just a few of the yummy recipes included in the anthology). Hint, hint.
The reading featured three Man with a Pan contributors—Sean Wilsey, Thomas Beller, and Mark Kurlansky—as well as the collection’s editor, John Donohue. Donohue went first, with the story behind his epiphany that men could and should cook for their busy wives.
Thomas Beller then took the mic to dish about a series of after-hours grocery shopping experiences at a New Orleans Whole Foods, and reminiscence on his culinary experience at a Hardee’s in Virginia during a promotion for the jalapeno thickburger.
Third up was Sean Wilsey, with the edict that cooking and cleaning should be inseparable tasks, always done in tandem…something that is very hard to do when you have kids.
Wilsey gave the standing-room-only crowd the giggles with his impression of his daughter’s request for another spoonful of honey.
Last but not least, Mark Kurlansky took the stage, tantalizing the crowd with a delicious description of making brownies from scratch, and explaining his gastronomic paradox: a phobia of women who cook and his secret hope that just once his wife will cook for him.
— Emily Parliman, Assistant to the Publisher