Book review: Smash Hits Recipes, Nat’s What I Reckon

Simple, easily made recipes, served with a side of potty-mouthed humour and cooking tips.
Nat's What I Reckon. Book cover of recipe book with cheeky, long haired cook in a black T shirt and with a nose ring, pierced lower lip and neck tattoos, and the same author's headshot on the right.

If you haven’t heard about the beloved and sweary multi-talented sensation that is Nat’s What I Reckon, you may have been hibernating under a rock somewhere – but you’re in luck because he’s released a new cookbook titled Smash Hits Recipes.

It’s no secret that the COVID pandemic left behind a trail of misery. Amid this chaos, Nat emerged as a beacon of light, bringing laughter and delicious dishes to our screens. For those who don’t know him, Nat’s a popular Australian YouTuber and social media influencer, best known for his irreverent and humorous cooking videos. A rock musician, isolation cooking champion and mental health advocate, Nat is the real deal. Born Nathan Bartolo, he adopted the pseudonym ‘Nat’s What I Reckon’ as a hilarious twist to his name. His debut recipe book, Un-cook Yourself: A Ratbag’s Rules For Life, shot to the top of the bestseller list in 2020.

Smash Hits Recipes features a collection of recipes and cooking tips with Nat’s signature humour and straightforward approach to food and cooking. His style is often described as no-nonsense and down to earth, and he’s gained a large following for his entertaining and relatable content.

The reader can expect to find a mix of delicious and easy-to-follow recipes, alongside Nat’s unique commentary and storytelling about his experiences in the kitchen. The book is suitable for anyone looking for approachable and entertaining cooking inspiration, regardless of their level of expertise in the kitchen.

Nat’s mission is to simplify the confusion of the kitchen and inspire people to ditch processed foods while taking care of their physical and mental well-being. 

Easing the reader in, Smash Hits Recipes is set in a full-course meal fashion. Before delving into “the main show”, it opens with a serious crash course on how to become a kitchen champion by sharpening your kitchen utensils game. The chapter is aptly titled ‘Kitchen Shit I Use’. If you have not been able to refine your kitchen skills during lockdowns, no worries, Nat has you covered. Under his guidance, you will become the household show pony flexing freshly acquired chopping skills.

The book boasts over 40 mouthwatering recipes, with most sporting a hilariously profane-inspired title that may create discomfort for the new reader while exciting the seasoned fan. Whether you’re eyeing the ‘Honey Bastard Chicken’, ‘Zero F**ks Mac ‘n’ Cheese’, or the ‘Go Focaccia Yourself’ for your next meal, you’re in for a wild ride of flavours and fun. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking – the colourful language may be a bit much for some but, let’s be honest, Nat’s raw and unapologetic self-expression is what makes this book a standout. His authenticity shines through every page and his conversational tone and laugh-out-loud anecdotes will have you hooked from start to finish.

Buckle up and get ready to unleash your inner chef with Nat’s awesome recipes!

As I leafed through the pages of the Smash Hits Recipes, I couldn’t resist trying out one of the recipes and that’s how I landed on ‘The Chicken Wings of Love’. With the spirit of Nat’s million-strong fan base egging me on, I dashed to the supermarket and filled my basket in record time. The recipe was a breeze to follow, thanks to the clear instructions and delightful illustrations. When I presented ‘The Wings of Love’ to the toughest critic in our household – our 10-year-old daughter – her silent approval and enthusiastic nods spoke volumes.

I reckon I absolutely nailed it and earned my stripes as a kitchen champion. 

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This book is more than just a recipe collection, it’s a heartfelt connection to the reader. It dishes out relatable pep talks and encouragement for anyone looking to enhance their culinary skills and overall well-being. With a diverse selection of recipes to suit every palate, Smash Hits Recipes serves up a delicious blend of therapy and finger-licking-good stories that’ll leave you hungry for more.

So, what are you waiting for? Dive into Nat’s world and unleash your inner culinary rock star!

Smash Hits Recipes by Nat’s What I reckon
Publisher: Ebury Australia (PRH)
ISBN: 9781761343865
Format: Hardback
Pages: 448pp
Published: 14 November 2023
RRP: $49.99

Dorcas Maphakela is a multidisciplinary creative combining writing, visual arts and holistic well-being advocacy in her practice. She is a South African-born Mopedi woman who relocated to Australia by choice in 2007 and became a citizen in 2012. She studied Fine Arts at the University of Johannesburg and holds a Master of Arts in Writing from Swinburne University of Technology. Dorcas is also a TV presenter, public speaker and founder and producer of the Antenna Award-winning OZ AFRICAN TV (OATV). She is the co-founder of Yo CiTY, a platform that champions the culturally diverse experience through Art & music. Her work was acknowledged with a Media Award from the Victorian Multicultural Commission for “outstanding reporting on issues of importance to diverse communities and reporting which contributes to Victoria’s cross-cultural understanding” (VMC).