This is an excerpt from a recent interview Sean did with Soaps.com, a leading news source for Daytime Television.
Sean Kanan’s new book, The Modern Gentleman: Cooking and Entertaining With Sean Kanan, goes beyond ‘a cookbook’ and has the potential to appeal to all kinds of readers – not just men. Readers will be drawn in by the easy and witty writing style, the attention to detail, and all of Sean’s fans will be thrilled with the personal anecdotes within. Those who read this book will learn that a man can treat his date or significant other with class and still be cool at the same time, and Sean lays out exactly how to get there by sharing his own travel, culinary, entertaining, and life experiences. The recipes look amazing, and if the kitchen intimidates you, the detail provided about how to approach gourmet cooking is impressive. If you buy the book through The Modern Gentleman, Sean will autograph your copy. Keep reading to hear what Sean told Soaps.com about the book, his busy life right now, and his role in Daytime.
Soaps.com: Your book is so much more than a cookbook, what is the larger concept here?
Sean: I think a lot of guys are confused in the sense that they’re saying, “Am I supposed to be the guy who talks about my feelings – sensitive, vulnerable, communicative – or am I supposed to be the Alpha male – strong, able to take charge, and a problem-solver?” The fact of the matter is it’s somewhere in between and a bit of both. So, really what this book is about is how to take the very best of guys from a generation ago, like Gregory Peck, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, who know what it was to be a ‘guy’s guy’ and a gentleman effortlessly, and the development that men achieved as a result of the women’s movement, and fuse them together. To help guys become better guys, and to help women understand how guys think (or at least how this guy thinks). That’s the essence of it – that’s one part of it. The other part of it is to teach men, or women, how to use food as a metaphor for connection, how to get in touch with your authentic self, and to learn to engage the senses in the way of engaging people.
Soaps.com: It was interesting that the book went beyond ‘these are the utensils you use, these are the recipes, and this is how you set the table’. You have chapters on entertaining, languages, and even how to buy a diamond ring. What made you decide to take it there?
Sean: I’ve had the good fortune of leading a pretty interesting life. I’ve learned a lot along the way, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, and I’ve been involved with some very interesting women who taught me a lot of stuff. I love to throw dinner parties; a lot of people who have been to my parties say, “Wow, you should open up a restaurant.” That’s probably the quickest way for someone who doesn’t know about the restaurant business to be separated from their money, so I decided to write a book. It began as a more traditional cookbook, and very quickly I realized that I had the opportunity to make more of an impact. In the book I talk about my work with the anti-defamation league – I wanted to find a way to bridge the gap and see what that nexus was between my work with bullying and cyber-bullying and the book. As Michele [Sean’s girlfriend] said, young men who are taught to be gentlemen grow up to be tolerant, giving, loving, strong guys, as opposed to growing up to be insecure bullies. I wanted to fuse my passion for cooking with what I’ve learned about being a guy.