A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook
Ecco Press, Hardcover, 9780061718946, 304pp.
Publication Date: June 8, 2010
The long-awaited follow-up to the megabestseller Kitchen Confidential
In the ten 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 businessand for Anthony Bourdain.
Medium Raw explores these 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 curtainbut never pulls his puncheson 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.
And 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.
“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
“Like a stinky fish sauce from his beloved Vietnam, [Bourdain’s] appeal among the food die-hards has only grown stronger and more pungent over time, and this book will only solidify that adoration.”
“This is Bourdain at his best. His food-porn vignettes are guaranteed to make your mouth water.”
-New York Magazine's Grub Street
“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.”
-Wall Street Journal
“The KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL author is a father now, but he hasn’t cleaned up his language, lost his zesty appetite or his critical zing.”
“Bourdain is back with more intriguing food fights, moving further from the kitchen into the eating industry. [Bourdain’s] dissections...are still as hilarious, as scatological and as spot-on as ever....his fare—and his prose—is still quite spicy.”
“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.”
“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
Anthony Bourdain's Medium Raw is a tour of the current state of the food world and the wild and weird chefs and personalities that inhabit it. He takes on the cult of celebrity chefs and the state of the American hamburger, and gets inside the mind of wunderkind David Chang. More at NPR.org
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