Cookbook Review: Food 2.0: Secrets from the Chef Who Fed Google

After reading Charlie Ayers’Food 2.0: Secrets from the Chef Who Fed Google, I am a little sad that I don’t live in California, am not a computer guru and don’t work for Google…just so I could eat there.
With a guy like Charlie in charge of the food in their cafeteria, it’s no wonder that the company has been so successful. His whole food approach to keeping the employees happy is really admirable.Chicken Squash Chilijack
His food mantra is “Fast, Raw and Organic.” Using cute computer symbols like //s and calling the pantry our database, he ties his technical employer into his culinary loves. The four sections of recipes go through the four phases of the work day’s eating: Start my day, Take a break, Winding down and Pick me up.
Breakfasts include smoothies, hot cereal, soy pancakes, granola and a surprising number of alcoholic beverages. (what exactly do they do at Google?) The lunch items feature lots of spice in salads, noodles, soups and sandwiches. What I didn’t know is that apparently beets are a lot more popular than I thought. Ayers has many, many beet recipes in his book; more than usual, most really tasty sounding.
Dinners in the cookbook (are people working 24 hours a day at Google?) include filet mignon, seared scallops and wild salmon. If dinner were like that in Detroit, would car companies be in so much trouble? Finally, the “pick me ups” or snacks for refueling throughout the day contain such treats as dried cherry chutney with goat cheese and crackers, sweet potato biscuits, mint chocolate brownies and coconut oatmeal bars with chocolate chips (those last two were the only sweets included in the entire book).
I made a variation of his Butternut Chilijack (butternut squash, chicken, tomatoes, onions, chiles, spices and more) and plan to make some of his many beet recipes soon.
Overall, this was a great read, filled with all sorts of great recipes. Most are a little edgy, not your feed a family of 4 on a budget type meals. However, remember that cookbooks are guides, not commandments. Many of these recipes can be altered to fit any budget, lifestyle or schedule. Although Ayers advocates buying locally and buying organic, if that isn’t something you are concerned with or can afford, substitute, substitute, substitute.
 Chicken Butternut Squash Chilijack

note: I received no compensation for this review and all opinions are mine.

Chicken Butternut Chilijack
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 4 oz can chopped green chiles
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive, grapeseed or avocado oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack or Cheddar cheese
  1. Toss the squash, onion, chiles, chili powder, salt and pepper with the 2 Tbsp olive oil.
  2. Place on a large lipped pan and roast at 375 for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the chicken and oregano in the remaining oil.
  4. When the chicken is done, add the tomatoes and heat through.
  5. If the squash is still cooking, turn down the heat on the chicken to warm until it's done.
  6. Combine the chicken mixture, squash mixture and cheese.
  7. Serve hot.

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