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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 (1769 )
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  •  
    Sara P. Southern Arizona 06-03-12
    Sara P. Southern Arizona 06-03-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A terrific listen"

    Bourdain's reading of his book was outstanding. The information was a tad disjointed. I felt as if I had just gotten up from a long conversation at the table with the author, rather than read his book. This isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    One of the most well traveled and interesting men on the planet writes a book about what he thinks is interesting, who is good at cooking (and why) as well as seeking a modicum of respect for the service/cooking staff that work to create our dining experiences. He also has some cogent and pithy information about food itself.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Friendsville, PA, United States 08-23-10
    Carolyn Friendsville, PA, United States 08-23-10 Member Since 2006
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    "Potty Mouth"

    Tony, find a thesaurus that specializes in trash words. The same words and phrases spill out of your computer. The repeated use of smut adjectives are no different than if you presented the same ingredient, seasoned and cooked in the same way for every course. Shame on your editor. Listening to your stories is like being presented the best quality seafood, meat and vegetables covered with cheese sauce from a jar. Foodies find your stories interesting. Don't diminish the value.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Tampa, FL, United States 07-23-10
    Nancy Tampa, FL, United States 07-23-10 Member Since 2011
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    "Gets My Vote"

    Anthony Bourdain for President.This man knows how to tell the truth and boy does it hurt.I do not often listen to authors who read their own books,(usually psychologists),but Mr. Bourdain is the only one who could tell his own tale so gloriously.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy REXBURG, ID, United States 02-01-14
    Jeremy REXBURG, ID, United States 02-01-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Bourdain at his best"
    Any additional comments?

    If you're already a fan (TV shows or other books) you'll enjoy this one. Bourdain offers more personal opinions than travel log as he did in Kitchen Confidential.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    isabelle Chicago, IL, United States 09-14-13
    isabelle Chicago, IL, United States 09-14-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Get a Pro to read your words"
    What did you like best about Medium Raw? What did you like least?

    LOVE Anthony Bourdain. LOVED Kitchen Confidential and Bourdain's read made it all the more raw and real for me. This one, the story and writing were still excellent but Bourdain's read sounded like someone so full of himself, it was incongruous with the self-effacing humor with which he'd peppered his story and which had made him so endearing in KC despite being a complete curmudgeon. I'm sure it worked on paper but listening to this audio book I felt I had to swallow to much atrociously-poor overacting to be able to appreciate what the author was trying to say. He was his own worst enemy on this one and mind, I love most things with him in them. I couldn't even finish it. Had to return it and it even turned me off getting the hard copy of the book. I'm sure the editor had access to professional actors and VO artists. Too much ego and not enough meat for this listener.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica St Paul, MN, United States 08-10-13
    Jessica St Paul, MN, United States 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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tommy NEWPORT NEWS, VA, United States 06-20-13
    Tommy NEWPORT NEWS, VA, United States 06-20-13 Member Since 2012

    I want to feel good when I complete a story & am a little harsh on depressing ones. There are a few sad ones that I love but not many.

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    "Another Great one from Bourdain"

    I read Kitchen Confidential and I thought it wouldn't get better, I was wrong. Medium Raw went back into the world of Kitchen Confidential and explained some of the reasoning for the first book and went deeper in Bourdain's life.
    The book was very well written and Bourdain did a great job reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Provost Tucson, AZ, United States 05-21-13
    R. Provost Tucson, AZ, United States 05-21-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Bourdain's telling wit"

    Feels more like a chat with a wit than a book. I enjoyed the back door look at high end food even if repulsed by the food its self. His gift for characterizing people and himself is the hook that drags you past the food and gives a rare critical look into these famous kitchens. But Mr Bourdain's bawdy wit is what makes the book fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Elizabeth Atlanta, GA, United States 05-16-13
    Elizabeth Atlanta, GA, United States 05-16-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Another good read by Bourdain"
    Would you listen to Medium Raw again? Why?

    Yes, I would listen again. The narration brings the book to life in a quite amazingly snarky way. Reading it on page was enjoyable for sure, however Bourdain's narration brings those words to life and adds spunk.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked that he was more humble than in "kitchen confidential." He definitely gained different perspectives and outlooks on life over the years, but rather than focus on his current views, he addressed how, why and what lead him to the thoughts he has today.


    What does Anthony Bourdain bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His own voice telling his stories with all the quirky inflections and emotion that comes along when a person read a memory aloud.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The life of one quirky chef revisited with new insights and stories to either love, hate or be bored by. As long as there's on audience who the heck cares


    Any additional comments?

    I liked that bourdain had the balls to eats many of the words and things he said in his previous writings without any shame. Hard honesty is both funny and refreshing

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JuneParmer South Carolina 05-07-13
    JuneParmer South Carolina 05-07-13 Member Since 2012

    I love reading and listening to books and I hardly want to do anything else. I prefer fantasy & mystery books but I'll read anything...

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    "HE'S BACK!!!!!"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Medium Raw?

    When he's telling about how having a daughter made him not cool anymore. Shows that no matter how mean people think he is (and he can be) he still has a good heart.


    What does Anthony Bourdain bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I really enjoy listening to Anthony read. I love his show and it's awesome to be able to drive down the road listening to him like you were watching an episode of "No Reservations"


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When he called that reviewer a...well I don't wanna ruin the surprise but it was hilarious!


    Any additional comments?

    If you have listened to Kitchen Confidential then I really recommend this book. If you haven't listened to it then I still recommend this book. Tony is an amazing writer! He will make you burst out laughing (having people in the cars next to you throw you looks because your sitting in your car-alone- laughing so hard). He breaks down his life AFTER becoming a huge TV personality and still gives you an inside scoop into the behind the scenes of kitchens (the best is when he talks about Le Bernardin in New York City! Oh I can't wait to go eat there). If you want an interesting book about food then this is the book for you! Tony is funny, charming and he admits that his snarkyness is his "schick" but one thing I will always like about him is that he tells you like it is. If you haven't read anything about Tony, by Tony or don't even know who this guy is: give him a chance. I promise, it will be worth it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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