Words can’t describe the mental ecstasy, basking in the ebb and flow, waves rippling with sarcasm few can put to ink and paper! Bourdain is simply a Doctor of Verbal Conflagrations! It has been a long time since my brain has fed on such high quality banter, and ears caressed by such a beautiful combination of profanity…a masterpiece! I am not a cook, nor do I watch the “Food Network”, have no concept of commercial restauranting….Bourdain’s book transcends his trade, and eloquently portrays a “working American” epic. If your sense of humor longs to be slaked by British style wit, tempered with a surgical use of East Coast vernacular….Bourdain’s book is a must read! Ahh yes, the authors reading can only be described as perfect. Thank you Dr. Bourdain for articulating what us mortals can only think in fragments!
Bourdain has turned into a caricature of himself. I have listened to Kitchen Confidential countless times and love his voice and storytelling style. But Medium Raw (much like No Reservations) only features the character "Anthony Bourdain" instead of the real person we all fell for.
Always entertaining even if full of insider (to chefs and restaurant folk) details - but that's the point. Anthony writes for people like him and the rest of us just come along for the ride because he's such a good story teller.
This is not a book that will stick with you for the long-term, and the language is not for the faint of heart, but.... It is classic Anthony Bourdain. A little self-centered, a little indulgent, a little exaggerated for effect, but entertaining nevertheless. The chapter towards the end where he follows a day in the life of the seafood prep cook at Les Bernadin shows that Anthony, above all, respects the craft of cooking for others, and has a soft spot in his heart for those who respect it, too. I enjoyed the book for what it was, and think his fans will, too.
Hearing Anthony tell his tale is so much better than listening to ANY other narrator. That aside, the story is great - loved the behind the scenes bits near the end about all of the "characters" in Kitchen Confidential. Any Bourdain fan is going to be happy if they buy this audiobook - regardless of whether you spend a credit or pay full price. LOVED IT.
This book lacks the rebellious innocence and honesty of Kitchen Confidential and seems apologetic and heavily defensive at times. An over-the-top love fest in parts that would have had the old Tony puking on his cowboy boots. Still, Bourdain is a good storyteller and his dry, caustic sense of humor makes it worth a listen, even as he's become part of the pop-food scene he used to rail against.
Amusing anecdotes, particularly about the St. Bart's glitterati and their too-many-facelifts denizens, but really, Bourdain's abrasive stance and consistent use of the F word make me wonder if he's someone who has a severely limited vocabulary as well as lacking in nuance of character.
Let's get one thing straight, if your looking for someone to say all nice things about everyone, you've got the wrong book and author. Anthony says it like it is, or like it is to him. No mincing words here, but that's what I guess I like. Superstar Chef, no but someone that loves food and knows food and tells you what he thinks of the world of food, chef's , writers and more. I like it even more since he actually reads the book . Love hearing it in his own words, voice. Hope one day I'll have the pleasure of sitting down and having some food and drink with Anthony straight up.
While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was not as packed with great stories and insider insights as his previous books. The beginning was slow but things picked up as it went along. He may be running out of juicy material and is therefore stretching what he's got to fill more space. It's worth getting the book, however, for his description of the world of St. Barts alone. Hilarious and spot on. It's especially worth reading for anyone considering becoming a chef.