The long-awaited follow-up to the mega-best-seller Kitchen Confidential
In the 10 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 those 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.
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.
©2010 Anthony Bourdain (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers
"The food orbit is [Bourdain’s] element, and chapters on today’s leading figures—from chef David Chang to critic Alan Richman—display his access, outspokenness and comedic gifts....Mr. Bourdain is a vivid, bawdy and often foul-mouthed writer. He thrills in the attack, but he is also an enthusiast who writes well about things he holds dear." (Wall Street Journal)
“Full of things everybody in the food world thinks but nobody will say...If [Bourdain’s] sharp eye and his wicked tongue have brought him acclaim, what’s kept him in the spotlight is his heart. Like Oscar Wilde, he’s a moralist in the guise of a libertine. Long may he prosper.” (Denver Post)
“Bourdain has insight, access and good taste, and he’s a naturally engaging writer...Bourdain is a hopeless romantic when it comes to food and the people who cook. The subtitle’s real valentines are two elegantly written profiles.” (New York Times Book Review)
Not being a cable TV subscriber, I had never heard of Anthony Bourdain until listening to Kitchen Confidential on Audible. That was a thoroughly enjoyable, ego-laced tribute to pulling oneself out of drug-induced cooking career while criticizing the cooking and businesses of his rivals. Medium Raw continues the theme he developed in his first book, but to me reflects a more genuine and reflective approach to his subject. When a food professional is willing to admit over-kill in trashing some of the TV chefs popular today, I find that refreshing. He shows that age and experience might offer a changed perspective ("I was probably a little harsh"), while holding on to high standards of culinary work. I agreed with his first criticism of Rachel Ray and her "cooking," and what was super was a greater explanation of the why's: she uses jarred, pre-minced garlic and canned ingredients, for heaven's sake! We who love food would tolerate this in a fine dining establishment, so why do we think it is acceptable for the home cook? He backs away from his "when to buy or not buy fish" edict, but frankly, we all strive for the freshest ingredients and I have found his advice highly credible.
Bourdain, as a reader, is wonderful. His tone is what it needs to be, and it reflects the joy and sadness of his life in the cooking stratosphere. We can all hope he will write a third volume in 10 years.
Besides being an RN, I am an avid audiobook listener as well as a narrator and producer for Audible. I love Audiobooks!
I would buy it again but not listen again. I never read a book twice.
He wrote the book and that brings a new perspective to the story. The only perspective really.
Laugh. He's so funny and cynical. I dont think anyone else reading this book aloud could have done as well.
I am not a" foodie" and had never even heard of Anthony Bourdain. I just bought a second book by him because I enjoyed the first one so much. Thanks Audible for offering this book!
The feeling on Bourdain's voice on every story makes it worthwile.
Everything is great, the descriptions detailed enough to make you feel part of the story.
It's great when you get the author to tell the story, even better when he really is a great communicator and has a very recognizable voice.
No, you want to make it last!
What is it about a Bourdain episode that makes you watch it? He's the guy next door, who had done okay and now has the room to explore a bit -- like many Americans. We spend our day not foraging for food merely for sustainability or spend our day looking for clean water to drink... much of the world still does. We have the luxury of exploring new things that excite us and are even excited by the simple things reminding us of our childhood and redefined by our adulthood. Why are we fascinated with Bourdain? It's because he is, in the best spirit of American culture, an unpretentious human being that does not have to worry about the essentials of life but has the privilege of therefore exploring essentials. I share his love of food and drink, not for sustainability and stability, but as a way of knowing myself and what I value better. My waist will attest to that - does the man have be so thin! He intimately does literally what he does metaphorically: he takes that which is foreign, savors it, and makes it a part of himself. This book is that exactly: just a sit-down with a seldom seen but familiar friend.
I enjoy listening to Anthony Bourdain in general, and it was interesting to hear about food from another perspective and learn more about him
I think that, in general, if you like him, you'll enjoy the book. But it was a little self indulgent, and I'd feel more comfortable recommending his show than this.
Anthony Bourdain is simply hilarious. Listening to him read about his opinions of and experiences with other chefs in the industry is laugh-out-loud fun, especially his section on heroes and villains.
At one point Anthony Bourdain goes on a truly funny rant about vegetarians, vegans, and the stuff that is in most store-bought hamburgers and hot dogs... I was just finishing up this section as I pulled into Costco, where I guiltily ordered a hot dog.
Anthony Bourdain truly enhances the experience of his book. The way he reads and emphasizes certain opinions and events really added to how much I liked Medium Raw. I read Kitchen Confidential in print, but I really enjoyed having Anthony Bourdain read this book.
I laughed out loud many times throughout this book.
I love books that can make me laugh or make me hungry. I love when books make time stand still. I love books that are a great addition to a roadtrip, a long bath or getting ready in the morning.
Anthony Bourdain doesn't hold back. If you appreciate salacious gossip, creative use of profanity, and continuous strands of international food porn, this book is definitely for you. You can't help but love him for his adamant support of the underdog and candor about his experiences. I certainly do.
When Bourdain did his dressing down of Alan Richman for his critical remarks of New Orleans post-Katrina, I nearly cried. I'm so happy that he so firmly stood up to those who he regards as "villains."
Very "freaking" real
Anthony....duh!! Next was his crazy girlfriend in the Islands, what a looser!
Are you gonna EAT that?
Bourdain's straightforward, tell it like it is style about the world of food was revealing and entertaining; his personal story was touching. Highly recommended for foodies!
I don't think. It's not really deep in plot, just good stories.
Yes. I'd say it's 90% as good as his first one.
I liked when he said how all the characters are doing today.
I think you'll like his show better if you've heard the books because they make him seem more sympathetic and less cranky/egotistical. He's always witty and insightful.
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