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Diet Differently With Peter Kaminsky’s ‘Culinary Intelligence’

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Peter KaminskyPeter Kaminsky is an unlikely candidate to propagate “Culinary Intelligence.” For years, the veteran author and food writer has enjoyed the best of world cuisines and now he is asking people to give up some of it and stay healthy. Well, not give up exactly but to limit consumption. Unlikely, though it may sound, Kaminsky’s recently-released book, “Culinary Intelligence,” inspires people to diet differently. In the book, the author shares the story of how he lost thirty-five pounds of weight while still eating food that he loved. Tempting, isn’t it? Read all about it:


1) The Grim Situation


It was in November 2007 that Kaminsky found himself face to face with a grim situation where 15 years of voracious eating had left him borderline obese and on verge of diabetes. He weighed 205 pounds at that time and after an initial vexed response, he adopted an approach, described in “Culinary Intelligence”, that helped him to reach 165 pounds with the blood sugar at a normal level. If you ask him why he did not go for the traditional diet plans instead of devising his own, he says, “Telling a food writer that he’s got to stop eating stuff is like telling a piano player that he’s got to use 44 keys.” Quite justified but then what is it that helped Kaminsky lose 35 pounds without giving up on taste, you may wonder? Well, Kaminsky started by cutting out “everything white right away.” He explains, “That meant that what used to be pasta dishes became lentil dishes or farro dishes. Of all things I walked away from, I would say that (French fries) was the toughest. But it no longer is.” That is the beauty of dieting at your own convenience, but not everyone can do it on his own like Kaminsky.


2) “Culinary Intelligence”


At the outset, Kaminsky tells you that you do not need to give up on your favorite flavors in order to lose weight. Well, this is something a lot of other diet plans tell you but none of them matches up to it. However, the book shows you the way till the end. Some of the things that you can learn from this book are “thinking before you eat, choosing your own ingredients, understanding the science behind the flavors, and cooking yourself.” While Kaminsky’s diet plan is not completely devoid of sacrifice but all of it is with good returns. For instance, Kaminsky says that you need to give up most of the fast food and all of junk food completely while you can still enjoy the desserts and drinks in moderation. Since it has been recently proved that fast food advertising is making children obese, you may not need much motivation to give it up. The basic principle that Kaminsky follows in his book is to enhance ‘flavors per calorie,” which, he says, helps you to eat less but still feel the same amount of flavor as before. Now that is a very smart diet plan, isn’t it?


3) The Diet Plan Peter Kaminsky 2


The fact that the book is written in everyday language, used by many of us, makes it easier for the reader to connect with whatever is being told. For instance, Kaminsky has divided the book into 8 chapters, each having an everyday title, which makes the chapters instantly relevant. Some of the chapters are:- “My Occupational Hazard,” “Mind Over Midsection,” “The Joy of Cooking,” and “When You’re Away From Home.” In the first chapter, the author begins by introducing the main reason behind his food-based persona in the following words,


“Some people are born with perfect pitch. I’m not one of them, but I have something akin to that when it comes to food. I was born with a taste in my mouth, in much the same way that a songwriter is born with a tune in his head. Taste and its kissing cousin, aroma, affect me powerfully…In the DNA lottery, I inherited a very acute palate and an equally sensitive sniffer…”


How many of you are already thinking of buying the book? Quite a few, right? Well, that is the power of Kaminsky’s book because it talks of everyday things and with the help of that, it wants people to take into their own hands the decision to lose weight.


4) The Reviews


Everyone who has read or heard about this book has only nice things to say about the author and his diet plan. Some of the reviews, which appeared on, are reproduced below:-

a) Arthur Agatston, who created the South Beach Diet, says, “If you don’t want to be part of the obesity and diabetes epidemic in this country, read this book. Food-lover Peter Kaminsky lost weight and transformed his own diet without giving up delicious, nutritious, flavorful foods and he provides an entertaining roadmap for how hedonism and health can co-exist quite happily.”


b) Bill Buford, who wrote “Heat”, ribs good-naturedly,  “Is Peter Kaminsky a double agent? For 20 years, he eats only the world’s best food, ‘happens’ to discover the cure for diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, and comes home to tell us to cook our own food, have lunch, and eat leftovers? A savvy, audacious book – long overdue.”


c) Marion Nestle, co-author of “Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics”, remarked, “Peter Kaminsky’s rules for taking pounds off and keeping them off are based on a really good idea: Flavor per Calorie. That works for him and should make dieting a pleasure.”


It remains to be seen whether this diet will find a place among the best diet plans. Nevertheless, Peter Kaminsky seems to have arrived at a magic formula to lose weight without giving up on pleasure and if you have been smart enough to catch hold of this book, do write in with your comments, whether you got the desired results or not.


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Diet Differently With Peter Kaminsky’s ‘Culinary Intelligence’