Monday, August 2, 2010

Books: Medium Raw

Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain

"In the ten years since his classic Kitchen Confidential first alerted us to the idiosyncrasies and lurking perils of eating out, from Monday fish to the breadbasket conspiracy, much has changed for the subculture of chefs and cooks, for the restaurant business—and for Anthony Bourdain.

Medium Raw explores these changes, moving back and forth from the author's bad old days to the present. Tracking his own strange and unexpected voyage from journeyman cook to globe-traveling professional eater and drinker, and even to fatherhood, Bourdain takes no prisoners as he dissects what he's seen, pausing along the way for a series of confessions, rants, investigations, and interrogations of some of the most controversial figures in food.

Beginning with a secret and highly illegal after-hours gathering of powerful chefs that he compares to a mafia summit, Bourdain pulls back the curtain—but never pulls his punches—on the modern gastronomical revolution, as only he can. Cutting right to the bone, Bourdain sets his sights on some of the biggest names in the foodie world, including David Chang, the young superstar chef who has radicalized the fine-dining landscape; the revered Alice Waters, whom he treats with unapologetic frankness; the Top Chef winners and losers; and many more.

And always he returns to the question "Why cook?" Or the more difficult "Why cook well?" Medium Raw is the deliciously funny and shockingly delectable journey to those answers, sure to delight philistines and gourmands alike." taken from

I absolutely loved Kitchen Confidential so when I heard that Bourdain had another book coming out I looked for it every time I had the chance. This isn't everything that I hoped it would be. Felt kind of random. No I wasn't expecting a novel but also didn't think that it would be a collection of fairly random thoughts, rants, apologies, etc. Some parts were interesting, like when he was talking about the food court idea but others, like whole chapters above his chef friends, weren't of interest to me (maybe because I don't live anywhere near a city w/great restaurants & couldn't afford to go even if I did). Borrow this book, rather than buy. But check out Kitchen Confidential, if you haven't already.

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