The newness of this phenomenon is what will captivate most readers. As Washington Post reporter Shankar Vedantam writes in his contribution, "Stories about men who cook are novel to us in ways that stories about women who cook are not." True—but that doesn't convey the inherent humor of the situation. Men, after all, can be relied upon to overreach and, hilariously, to fail. Author Manny Howard, for instance, tries to pit-roast a pig and produces "a wrinkly abomination," while journalist Jack Hitt, unmanned by his inability to fry celery leaves, cries out, "What the—?" Perhaps out of a sense of compassion for such snafus, many of the recipes eschew formality. Michael Ruhlman's roast chicken instructions include "Have sex with your partner," confirming that, as evolved as these guys are, they're still guys.