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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Read Kitchen Confidential First

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Okay

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Brutally honest and endlessly entertaining.

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Antony on a soapbox

If you enjoy listening to the author proclaiming to the masses then you might enjoy this book.
While I actually agree with a lot of what Bourdain has to say, I just get bored after a while with hearing it said over and over again ... after allhe is preaching to the converted.
In the end I just stopped listening and marked the book as 'finished'.

Personally I'm not all that interested in his family life, though, of course, others might find it interesting.

Basically this book is a series of different articles written by Bourdain. There doesn't seem to be any connection between any of the chapters, it just jumps from one topic to the next.

If you are expecting something like Kitchen Confidential then you'll be disappointed.
If you enjoy listening to Antony Bourdain proclaiming then, by all means purchase this title.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris
  • LaGrange, Ky, United States
  • 02-22-16

Excellent

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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You have to read this!

What a great followup to Kitchen Confidential. Fantastic way of tying up the loose ends to an already great story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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story < narration

What did you like best about Medium Raw? What did you like least?

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.

Would you ever listen to anything by Anthony Bourdain again?

Probably.

What about Anthony Bourdain’s performance did you like?

Fantastic narration.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No, definitely not.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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

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nothing really new

What was most disappointing about Anthony Bourdain???s story?

story he was telling was all same as previous books <br/>nothing fresh .....<br/>loved cooks tour and kitchen confidencial <br/>

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard
  • Fair Lawn, NJ, United States
  • 06-11-12

If you can survive the bluster...

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful