Whether you’re a seasoned kitchen warrior or just learning to cook, Badass Cookery & General Shenanigans brings the fun back into cooking with 150 pages of original, delicious, budget-friendly recipes.

Kevin Pagenkop is the multiple-award-winning author of Badass Cookery & General Shenanigans, a humorous, relatable cookbook with fun facts, movie references and kitchen hacks that brings a unique approach to the genre while sharing easy and delicious recipes.

A self-proclaimed nerd from the Badger State, Kevin moved to New Orleans where he refined his cooking skills and tried to avoid growing up. When that inevitable day came, he wound up under a headset working as an Emergency Dispatcher. After a couple decades in one of the world’s most stressful jobs, he realized it was time to get back to the things he enjoyed: photography, writing, annoying people by quoting lines from his favorite movies, and cooking. The Venn Diagram of his passions intersected at writing a cookbook.

This one-on-one interview shares Kevin Pagenkop’s background and experience in writing his debut cookbook, Badass Cookery & General Shenanigans.

Tell us about Badass Cookery & General Shenanigans.

This is the cookbook for people that don’t like cookbooks.

Most cookbooks are boring, with recipes that read like the instructions to building Swedish furniture, and serving sizes that would only be appropriate for the Defensive Line of an NFL Team.

This cookbook is packed with movie references, sarcasm, and delicious recipes that can be worked up for just two. In addition, the cooking techniques are thoroughly explained, so along with the nerdery and shenanigans that span its pages, this book is perfect for anyone looking to elevate their kitchen game. Readers will find recipes across a wide range of cuisine, fun food facts, kitchen hacks, suggestions to make use of leftovers, and other tips and tricks to make cooking easy and fun.

What inspired you to write Badass Cookery & General Shenanigans?

While I have restaurant experience and have been cooking my whole life, it was my current job in emergency communications that inspired me to write a cookbook. Being an emergency dispatcher is an incredibly stressful job that often impacts your emotional wellbeing and physical health. To address this, I tapped into what makes me the happiest – cooking.

What started as a fun way to record recipes for my family, turned into a journey that improved my work/life balance and rekindled my passion for all things food related.

We are often defined by our jobs. But, what we do to pay the bills is not always a representation of who we are. I’m hoping this book shows that cooking can be fun and inspires others to focus on their mental health by exploring their passions – whether they are in the kitchen or elsewhere.

How did your background and experience influence your writing?

I’ve ingested food to maintain my survival for as long as I can remember. Sometimes more than 3 meals a day, because snacking is just fantastic 🙂

Joking aside, I’ve long been fascinated with the connection food has to family, culture, and history.

When I decided I wanted to learn how to cook professionally, I drove to New Orleans and lived out of my car until I was able to get hired in a restaurant. While this was only a brief chapter in my life, it was one of the most rewarding.

Decades later, I realized that getting back to this core passion was a great way to mitigate the stressors of adulting. I set out to write a cookbook that is fun to read, filled with easter eggs and cool references, and is as nerdy as I am.

What is one message you would like readers to remember?

Food is culture. Food is history. Food is fun.

Rigid recipes and boring cookbooks have convinced people that cooking is an arduous chore. Or, that a dish will be inedible if the recipe isn’t followed with the precision of a NASA mathematician. But the best meals are those created from just fearlessly playing around in the kitchen.

Badass Cookery & General Shenanigans is not your grandmother’s cookbook (unless your grandmother is a badass that cooks with beer, bourbon, and unapologetically large portions of butter and bacon). So, if you’re the type of person that is constantly quoting lines from movies, are fluent in sarcasm, and love shenanigans, then this is the cookbook for you.

Purchasing the Book

Badass Cookery & General Shenanigans has been endorsed by well-known literary organizations, authors, and reviewers around the world. Amazon reviewer, Meranda writes, “I can’t cook to save my life but thanks to this book I was able to trick my family into thinking I can and wasn’t bored or stressed doing so.” In addition, reviewer Michael writes, “This cookbook has great–really great–recipes; recipes that are easy to make, look appetizing on a plate, andtaste exceptional…there is plenty of sarcasm, witty banter, and humorous observations. So, check out this cookbook. You will not be disappointed.”

The book is available for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Kobo and Google Play. Readers are encouraged to purchase their copy today:

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