Friday, December 20, 2019

Review: My Drunk Kitchen by Hannah Hart

Title: My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Going with Your Gut
Author: Hannah Hart
Format: Hardcover, 225 pages
Pub. Date: August 12th 2014
Source: Goodwill

Book Description:

One day, lonely cubicle dweller and otherwise bored New York City transplant Hannah Hart decided to make a fake cooking show for a friend back home in California. She opened her laptop, pulled out some bread and cheese, and then, as one does, started drinking. The video was called "Butter Yo Sh*t" and online sensation My Drunk Kitchen was born.

My Drunk Kitchen (the book!) includes recipes, stories, color photographs, and tips and tricks to inspire your own adventures in tipsy cooking. Hannah offers cocktail recommendations, culinary advice (like, remember to turn off the oven when you go to bed), and shares never-before-seen recipes such as:

The Hartwich (Knowledge is ingenuity! Learn from the past!) Can Bake (Inventing things is hard! You don't have to start from scratch!) Latke Shotkes (Plan ahead to avoid a night of dread!) Tiny Sandwiches (Size doesn't matter! Aim to satisfy.) Saltine Nachos (It's not about resources! It's about being resourceful.)
In the end, My Drunk Kitchen may not be your go-to guide for your next dinner party . . . but it will make you laugh and drink . . . I mean think . . . about life.



I really like Hannah Hart. I used to watch a lot of her My Drunk Kitchen videos in college. I appreciate her quirky sense of humor, her optimism, and (although fairly unrelated to the book at hand) her openness about being LGBT. I was so happy when she got a Food Network show, and I was bummed that it didn't work out for very long.

Unfortunately, I don't think this book is a good representative of her. Or at least, she doesn't translate well into book form.

Calling this a "cookbook" would be very generous. There are technically recipes, yes, but they exist in a weird plane of existence where they are broad concepts as opposed to actual recipes. There's no real rules or measurements or technical help. It's sort of like a choose your own adventure recipe guide.

There's a lot of good advice and quotes and stories about being young. I appreciated those. There's good take aways from this, like being yourself, adulting is hard for everyone, and that it's okay to think outside of the box. But other times, it's sort of just slapped together and hard to follow. Random brainwaves on YouTube certainly work better than on paper, because it's weird to skip thoughts suddenly as you're reading. But Hannah Hart is a funny person, and there's a few laughs tucked away in here.

This book has a strong emphasis on alcohol and drink pairings and stuff like that, but I don't know why that would be surprising given the name of the book and the nature of her YouTube career.

It has nice glossy pages and really nice photos. It's a good quality book, from a publication standpoint.

All in all it was worth a flip through, but I don't imagine it's anything I'll actually reference in my kitchen. It's not quite cookbook, not quite memoir, in a weird mix mash of a book that I'm not really sure what I am meant to make of it. I feel like I might have really adored this book when I was in college, but it seems a bit removed for me now.

If you're a fan of reading YouTuber books, a fan of Hannah Hart's channel, or are a college student who is trying to figure out what adult life means and how the hell you're supposed to cook things now, then you might appreciate this book. If you're looking for like... An actual cookbook with usable recipes, or if you're unfamiliar with Hannah Hart's other works, then I think this won't be the book for you. There are better out there.


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