Sean Kanan (S. Kanan)

“I think my fans from Daytime will enjoy this book.”

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 about the book, his busy life right now, and his role in Daytime. 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. 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. Your experiences in Italy also figure into the book.

Sean: My experiences in Italy had a profound effect on me. I learned how to speak Italian and I have lifelong friends in Italy. It started out when I was on “The Bold and the Beautiful” and I realized how popular the show was there – something sparked in me, and I realized if I could learn to speak Italian I could probably have an entire second career. I still study every day. When you live in a foreign country, you learn what it means to be a gentleman in a different culture. I also learned some great cooking lessons in Italy. It’s little bits and pieces of my life – I didn’t expect the book to be quite as autobiographical as it turned out to be. I’m working on another book right now that is even more autobiographical and has nothing to do with cooking. It’s kind of like a ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul/Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff’, but in a much more detailed way using my life experiences as a backdrop. You’ve got some marketing and contests happening related to The Modern Gentleman?

Sean: Yes, if people would please follow me on Twitter @seankanan. Also, I’m doing a blog right now, leading up to the book coming out, and trying to be really honest and candid about what it’s like. I’m doing one contest where I’m going to give an exact replica of my ‘Elvis Kit’ [from the book] to someone once 10,000 people ‘like’ the book’s Facebook site. I’m also giving three autographed black belts away – because I was in “Karate Kid III” – when I get 5,000 followers on Twitter. There are three beautiful black belts with the person’s name written in silver and a picture of myself and Ralph Macchio from “Karate Kid” for the winners.