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Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook | [Anthony Bourdain]

Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

In the 10 years since his classic Kitchen Confidential first alerted us to the idiosyncrasies and lurking perils of eating out, much has changed for the subculture of chefs and cooks, for the restaurant business and for Anthony Bourdain. Medium Raw explores those changes, tracking Bourdain's 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (2094 )
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  •  
    Pamela J United States 01-06-13
    Pamela J United States 01-06-13 Member Since 2014

    Sure, I'd love to hear your story....

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Snarky Chef returneth"

    My patience for Anthony Bourdain and his nose-in-the-air attitude about all things food has limits...and this book ended EXACTLY when they were reached. I don't think openly admitting you're a jerk and then acting like a jerk exempts you, but it does make listening to the wonderful writing much easier for people like me who like the behind the scenes stories of restaurants that I'll never eat in.

    The man is funny, erudite, and so ridiculously opinionated you can almost forgive him anything. Almost. But this book is really for people with a high tolerance for all things food who aren't afraid of a lot of bad language and brutal attacks on perfectly fine people that Tony has decided are beneath him. This book goes well with a spoonful of sugar.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Sydney 06-03-12
    Chris Sydney 06-03-12 Member Since 2015

    Tell us about yourself! I love to escape into a good book.

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    "Forthright Funny Entertaining Book"

    Anthony Bourdain is never shy to express his opinion on the culinary world, he may be harsh but he holds himself up to that same critical eye.
    It is refreshing to read a book from a man who is not afraid to express his opinions and political correctness be damned.
    He has an irreverent sense of humour which I quite enjoyed.
    Having read Kitchen Confidential I was eager for more.
    This is a collection of personal essays that take us from St Barts to Top Chef.
    The book is a reflection on his second career phase as a "celebrity chef" and it does not disappoint.
    Anyone who has spent the last 28 years in the food industry should know what he is talking about. Its nice to know that the passage of time and years has not mellowed him in anyway.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul New York, Virgin Islands (U.S.) 08-04-10
    Paul New York, Virgin Islands (U.S.) 08-04-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Very enjoyable"

    Anthony is very easy of the ears, the book is easy to listen too and covers a lot of ground, some of it will be very familiar if you watch his TV shows. Tony often comes full circle when going off on his famous rants, frequently summarizing he understands the victims point of view and perhaps they aren't all bad after all....he's getting mellow in old age.

    I really enjoy Tony's honesty, he is frank and self deprecating in a world of food personalities nobody ever really asks hard question of. The book is like Les Halles, it's not the best steakhouse or French Bistro it's just honest and when Tony fries something (or someone) it's truly crispy!

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila J. Siegel L.A., Ca USA 12-11-14
    Sheila J. Siegel L.A., Ca USA 12-11-14 Member Since 2014
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    "He is way to full of himself"
    What did you like best about Medium Raw? What did you like least?

    I liked when he actually talked about food and restaurants.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Much of this book is just him ranting. His first book was so much better.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    No it is him and if you like listening to him it is fine. He certainly likes listening to himself without much filter.


    Do you think Medium Raw needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I wouldn't read it if he did one.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    keith 10-22-14
    keith 10-22-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Too much ranting"
    Would you be willing to try another book from Anthony Bourdain? Why or why not?

    Yes


    Have you listened to any of Anthony Bourdain’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, I was expecting Tony's usual complaining and ranting about people he does not like, but this book seemed to be overflowing with rants about very food industry players. Entertaining because of his solid wit and self-deprecating comments, yet I was disappointed by the multiple chapters dedicated to rambling about a select few people whom he is infatuated with. Tough to compete with Kitchen Confidential, but I expected a better effort.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorraine Cannon Aurora, CO United States 08-01-14
    Lorraine Cannon Aurora, CO United States 08-01-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Author is very important"

    Anthony really does have a good sense of self. He is long winded concerning subjects that are not enjoyable for long dissertations. I loved his first book, this is book just seems to be a platform for him to get on his soap box.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica 08-10-13
    Jessica 08-10-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Loved it!!!"

    If you go into this expecting Kitchen Confidential you will be disappointed. KC is about a young Tony Bourdain. This book is all about a grown up Bourdain. It's about his opinions on things like food critics, well known chefs and the food network. The thing about Anthony Bourdain is that he's so good at being a snarky dick that even if you don't agree with something he says, you can't help but laugh and want to slap him on the back and buy him a beer. I'm glad the he narrates his books because no one else has THE voice to do it. This book is laugh out loud funny and all around awesome!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    miles rose lake, fl, United States 04-19-13
    miles rose lake, fl, United States 04-19-13 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Im just a big tony fan"

    He can do no wrong. If they were to make me wear a tie for the book cover i would have had a cig in my hand or some subliminal item hidden.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie WASHINGTON, DC, United States 04-10-13
    Marie WASHINGTON, DC, United States 04-10-13 Member Since 2010

    Professional librarian type, amateur historian.

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    "Fun read of a lush life"

    This was a really fun listen and at times I laughed out loud. This is my first Anthony Bourdain book, so I don't know how it compares to his more famous book.
    Did I learn anything? Not really. This book is one where you just sit back and enjoy the ride and it is a fun ride that goes to various parts of the world and US. It is also like sitting at the bar with the world 2nd most interesting man as he spins tales about crazy girlfriends, lucky jobs, and life enjoyably wasted on booze and drugs.
    I've seen criticisms about authors reading their own books, this is one of those things where the author does a really good job.
    To truly enjoy this book, belly up to the bar, or sit out on the patio with a drink and a nice app.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krispian 04-05-13
    Krispian 04-05-13 Member Since 2013

    The more you love books... the more books you love!

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    "Not as good as Kitchen Confidential"

    Don't get me wrong, Anthony Bourdain is an excellent writer. This isn't a bad book. Many of the topics are interesting, and -- as a fellow parent of a daughter and advocate of 'slow food' over fast food -- the topics are relevant to me.

    However, each chapter has too much of a strident tone in its writing and narration. I found I could take it in only short doses.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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