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)
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
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.
I didn't know Anthony had a first book and bought this when it was on sale. There's a lot of reference to his first book which I'm sure makes total sense if you've read it, but I haven't (yet).
I love Mr. Bourdain. His give no sh*ts attitude is right on! This book feels like a mix of stories from different parts of his life and a lot of talk of cooks and chefs and TV hosts I've never heard of. I got bored during that, but plugged along and moved on with him to the next thing. There are some gems in here and if you're a fan it's worth a listen, when it's on sale.
This book is a rock solid 3.5, neither three nor four stars. It was interesting that he mentioned Jim Harrison as I've been working my way through his (non-foodie) novels on Audible.
I am a big fan of all the variations of Mr. Bourdain's TV show, which started off as "No Reservation". He is honest about his sudden success with his first book and his subsequent lifestyle that he was lucky to survive. He reflects on how clueless and rude his criticisms were in his first book and now looks back with the perspective of age and experience and expresses some regrets.
If you like this aging artist looking back on his life, his hipster, poetic, rock and roll kind of attitude, you will really enjoy this book. He's a great story teller.
I'm a father of four. I am a big fan of The Pendergast series by Preston and Child as well as Dan Brown's Robert Langd
Fans of Kitchen Confidential will not be disappointed in the least. Having never eaten at a Bourdain-run establishment I cannot speak to his talent as a chef, but his talent as a writer is undeniable. The book is very well written with a great pairing of amusing stories, soul searching reflections, and thought provoking prose. I enjoyed it very much.
Although there is much less anger in this book, the venom that remains is much better thought out and articulated. Where Kitchen Confidential was spontaneous outpouring of anger, Medium Raw's vitriol has been aged like fine spirits with similar bite.
His narration is spot on as well. It is hard to imagine anyone else doing it.
Bourdain is sort of a douche. But entertainingly, he feeds us a roast of his peers served on a bed of cynicism while lightly dusted in the trails and tribulations of cocaine.
No, definitely not.
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!
story he was telling was all same as previous books
nothing fresh .....
loved cooks tour and kitchen confidencial
The first half of the book was unbearable, at best. Bourdain's self-importance is oppressive, with an overabundance of affectation embellishing his affectation. In the second half, I found myself begrudgingly agreeing with many of his assertions, tho still finding his delivery offensive, but increasingly found his observations on chefs, food, and politics to be modestly interesting.
Some might think it worth mentioning that Bourdain fully acknowledges that he is an obnoxious, self-impressed blowhard with no more right to his opinions than his readers think he should have, which is modest. I took little comfort in his self-awareness. He's still obnoxious. Just interesting.
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