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)
Listening to this right after Kitchen Confidential was a mistake. Anthony Bourdain loves being Anthony Bourdain and he really, really wants you to know it. Yawn. Remember when Metallica wrote really great songs, played hard and kicked a lot of ass? They were young, lean, hungry and desperate and it resulted in great work. Now they are fat, happy, art-collecting yuppies and it results in flabby crap (and Bob Seger covers?!). Well guess what, it's not just for metal bands anymore.
I have listened to Medium Raw several times already and love it each time I listen to it. Bourdain's acerbic wit entertains me. Plus I loved the glimpse of his childhood.
It is very much like his first book Kitchen Confidential but instead of talking about his experience as a young chef, it gives glimpses into his childhood that really allow you to understand what went in to making his unique wit and story-telling abilities.
My favorite part was a visit to one of his uncles who was an oyster harvester (do you call that fisherman?) and the description of his first taste of raw oyster. I laughed so hard I nearly ran off the road!!
There was one part that didn't move me so much as made me nostalgic. That part was when his parents leave him in the car with his brother to read Tin-Tin while they went and enjoyed a gourmet meal. His response to it is very much like my own. He determines that he is going to eat whatever is put before him from now on without complaint.
Small business owner, avid reader and listener, occasional writer.
Top five in my collection of audiobooks.
The best part of this book is the in your face honesty and irreverence.
The book opens with an amazing black market meal. You are thrust into a world that has been hinted at, but not experienced. Vicariously, as well as safely, you experience a delicacy that is intriguing, scary and presented as gastronomic forbidden fruit of the food elite. The book met this early standard through out.
Several times I laughed and cursed out loud.
Loved his gritty, tell it like it is revelations all in a gritty New York in your face narrative.
I am a big fan of No Reservations.Tony's narration is part of what makes that show so great. I got a copy of the book when I saw him live. I read it that week. It was a great read.
I bought the audiobook because I love Tony's narration on the show. It's an even better listen than a read. I might need to get the Kitchen Confidential audiobook now. It might end up being more disgusting...
This is a funny, touching look at the world of foodie insiders. By narrating his own book Bourdain really demonstrates his attitudes about a variety of food topics, chefs, chef sell outs, cooking shows, etc. Be warned the language gets a bit rough. If that doesn't offend you, this is a thoroughly enjoyable listen.
I loved the descriptions of odd foods and the peeks at the personalities of cooking show chefs.
I just love Anthony Bourdain, so I suppose it comes as no surprise that I love a book written and read by him (and let's face it ... no one else could do the narration justice!)
Of particular delight was the rant about, "The Red Balloon" ... oh, Tony, this has been a rant of mine since my school days and it was just so amazingly awesome to listen to your "take" ... definitely worth a re-listen or three!
Bravo!!! I hope we don't have to wait so long for your next book!!!
I love Tony Bourdain; I want his job: travel, eat, drink, repeat.
I prefered this book over Kitchen Confidential as you really get more of Bourdain's personality and opinions than the autobiographical Confidential. The book has the feel of a bar conversation with Tony telling you stories and opinions about food, the food network, celebrity chefs, McDonalds, and other subjects.
Bourdain is an excellent narrator. Another great car listen that does not require your full undivided attention.
I loved this book. Anthony insights always great to hear. You will come away with insight about the restaurant and food industry that will change your view of the business and how you think about your next meal out!
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