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A lot has changed since Kitchen Confidential. For the subculture of chefs and cooks, for the restaurant business as a whole—and for Anthony Bourdain. Medium Raw explores those changes, taking the reader 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 travelling professional eater and A lot has changed since Kitchen Confidential. For the subculture of chefs and cooks, for the restaurant business as a whole—and for Anthony Bourdain. Medium Raw explores those changes, taking the reader 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 travelling professional eater and drinker, Bourdain compares and contrasts what he’s seen and what he’s seeing, pausing along the way for a series of confessions, rants, investigations, and interrogations of some of the more controversial figures in food. Always returning to the question: “Why cook? “ Or the harder to answer: “Why cook well?” Beginning with a secret and highly illegal after-hours gathering of powerful chefs he compares to a Mafia summit, the story follows the twists and eddies through subjects ranging from: • “The Friends of David Chang” an incredibly undiplomatic discussion with (and peek into the mind of) the hottest, most influential chef in America. • “Don’t Ask Alice”: Alice Waters. Good . . . or Evil? • The Big Shake Out: The restaurant business in post economic meltdown America. How it’s changing. How it might change even more. • And, Heroes and Villains. (With a few returning favorites.)


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A lot has changed since Kitchen Confidential. For the subculture of chefs and cooks, for the restaurant business as a whole—and for Anthony Bourdain. Medium Raw explores those changes, taking the reader 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 travelling professional eater and A lot has changed since Kitchen Confidential. For the subculture of chefs and cooks, for the restaurant business as a whole—and for Anthony Bourdain. Medium Raw explores those changes, taking the reader 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 travelling professional eater and drinker, Bourdain compares and contrasts what he’s seen and what he’s seeing, pausing along the way for a series of confessions, rants, investigations, and interrogations of some of the more controversial figures in food. Always returning to the question: “Why cook? “ Or the harder to answer: “Why cook well?” Beginning with a secret and highly illegal after-hours gathering of powerful chefs he compares to a Mafia summit, the story follows the twists and eddies through subjects ranging from: • “The Friends of David Chang” an incredibly undiplomatic discussion with (and peek into the mind of) the hottest, most influential chef in America. • “Don’t Ask Alice”: Alice Waters. Good . . . or Evil? • The Big Shake Out: The restaurant business in post economic meltdown America. How it’s changing. How it might change even more. • And, Heroes and Villains. (With a few returning favorites.)

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

  1. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    "Order the fucking fish on Monday." Although Medium Raw isn't, technically speaking, a sequel to Anthony Bourdain's first collection of restaurant industry-related essays, it's definitely a companion volume - to the point where if you read Medium Raw without first having read Kitchen Confidential, you're not really getting the full experience. Kitchen Confidential was a brash, cranky, profanity-filled collection of essays detailing the ugly ins and outs of the restaurant industry and the people w "Order the fucking fish on Monday." Although Medium Raw isn't, technically speaking, a sequel to Anthony Bourdain's first collection of restaurant industry-related essays, it's definitely a companion volume - to the point where if you read Medium Raw without first having read Kitchen Confidential, you're not really getting the full experience. Kitchen Confidential was a brash, cranky, profanity-filled collection of essays detailing the ugly ins and outs of the restaurant industry and the people who make a living from it, and even the positive essays were still brimming with piss and vinegar. One of the most quoted essays from the book explains why you should never order fish on a Monday, so it's a good indication of how much Bourdain's worldview has changed since Kitchen Confidential. The crankiness is now tempered with weariness, and a resigned irritation (mostly directed at himself) that so many people have held him up as some kind of all-knowing expert on the restaurant industry. If Kitchen Confidential is a bitter, ultra-boozy triple IPA, Medium Raw is a cask-aged stout - still strong, still bitter, but complex and well-aged. In fact, I think the thesis of Medium Raw can be best summed up by this single line by Bourdain: "I'm through being cool." A lot of Medium Raw has Bourdain holding a critical lens to his previously-fast-held beliefs, and re-examining with the benefit of hindsight and decades in the industry. In addition to wearily telling his readers to just "order the fucking fish on Monday," he also spends a chapter discussing the concept of "selling out" and how it's stupid to hold yourself to some kind of high moral standard when it comes to endorsement - if selling frozen food on infomercials is what keeps your restaurant open, you do it, and you do it with a smile. Medium Raw also presents us with a Bourdain who is, if not nicer, then at least more willing to live and let live. He still has nothing but contempt for Sandra Lee, but a chapter where he endlessly snarks on Alice Waters ends with him warmly and genuinely singing her praises. (Of course, this is immediately followed by a chapter explaining why a certain food critic is, in no uncertain terms, a total douchebag. Tigers can't change their stripes) It's not all backtracking and reflection - Bourdain also takes us through the history of the Food Network and how it's changed over time, and how the company became a profitable business model (Food Network Magazine is one of the few print magazines left that's still profitable), but did this at the expense of the chefs who founded the network. He also reflects on his career, and how he's ultimately stumbled into this career. Another really good chapter has Bourdain delving into what he tells people when they ask him whether they should go to culinary school, and it manages to be both intimidating and inspiring. The boldest aspect of Medium Raw, however, is when Bourdain puts his ego aside entirely and admits, simply, "I am not a chef." It's true - Anthony Bourdain hasn't been in a working kitchen for decades, and he doesn't hesitate to admit that there are thousands of infinitely more talented people working in the culinary world, and that his fame is only partially built on his abilities in the kitchen. But we don't read Anthony Bourdain's books because he's a great chef. We read his books because they're written with a clear, engaging voice, and because he knows how to tell a great story, and has plenty of great stories to tell. (Also, if you can, try doing what I did and listening to this as an audiobook - hearing Bourdain himself tell the stories in this book is half of the appeal) Anthony Bourdain is right -he's not a chef. He's a writer. And thank goodness for that.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile

    This was a night and day difference from Kitchen Confidential. it consisted mostly of talking crap about other people. I'd imagine he couldn't have had many friends left after this was released! This was a night and day difference from Kitchen Confidential. it consisted mostly of talking crap about other people. I'd imagine he couldn't have had many friends left after this was released!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    Bourdain at his scathing best. This is for the serious foodie or fan of Bourdain’s storytelling style. I’ll admit he wasn’t always the warmest individual, but he was a gifted writer and narrator and I enjoyed his biting wit and ability to skewer in the light what others merely whispered in the dark. In this collection of essays he takes on raw food enthusiasts, multi-course meals, the Food Network and the usual suspects of the culinary world. His essay about Alice Waters whom he once called Pol Po Bourdain at his scathing best. This is for the serious foodie or fan of Bourdain’s storytelling style. I’ll admit he wasn’t always the warmest individual, but he was a gifted writer and narrator and I enjoyed his biting wit and ability to skewer in the light what others merely whispered in the dark. In this collection of essays he takes on raw food enthusiasts, multi-course meals, the Food Network and the usual suspects of the culinary world. His essay about Alice Waters whom he once called Pol Pot in a Mumu, is unapologetic in his continued disdain. And gaspingly delightful. For me the most noteworthy essay was that of an employee at Le Bernardin, arguably the best seafood restaurant in the world, a gentleman who toils away for hours every day cleaning and cutting fish to exacting standards. Bourdain’s respect for this man is evident in every word, his reverence for the task he performs shows us what he valued. Whatever anyone else might say, his love and respect for food and those that prepare it always towered above all else, just as in Kitchen Confidential. I listened to the audio narrated by Bourdain in February 2019, but had forgotten to note it and recently came across, Bourdain Remembered, in which friends and fans share their memories. Love or hate him, he was one of a kind. Read February 2019

  4. 4 out of 5

    RandomAnthony

    I like Anthony Bourdain in part because he admits the mini-empire he’s created is a good paying gig and he feels fortunate to have landed it. Bourdain’s a paradox in that his street-level authenticity is one of his strengths but, at the same time, he admits he’s loaded and gets all the privileges associated with his celebrity. While he self-depreciates with the best of them he’s also not nearly off the cuff, I think, as he’d like his fans to believe. He’s like a less-frantic Klosterman except wi I like Anthony Bourdain in part because he admits the mini-empire he’s created is a good paying gig and he feels fortunate to have landed it. Bourdain’s a paradox in that his street-level authenticity is one of his strengths but, at the same time, he admits he’s loaded and gets all the privileges associated with his celebrity. While he self-depreciates with the best of them he’s also not nearly off the cuff, I think, as he’d like his fans to believe. He’s like a less-frantic Klosterman except with more talent and knowledge of his field. And he recognizes authenticity, however staged, makes good writing and television. If you were to put him, say, on Rachel Ray’s show, even after he’s slammed her in print, he could both talk with her courteously and impart the idea that he’s not buying into the Food Network entertainer concept while he’s on her very show on that very network. That’s a rare skill. Now that Bourdain’s done the food memoir (Kitchen Confidential), the travel book (A Cook’s Tour), and the articles/outtakes collection (The Nasty Bits), I was skeptical of Medium Raw because I’m not sure about what else he could write without re-treading easy literary marks. Medium Raw, however, is successful for fans (I think I’ve seen every No Reservation episode and have admitted to a Bourdain man-crush) but probably less effective as an introduction to Bourdain’s work unless you’re a food culture person, in which case you’ve already heard of Bourdain. The book reads as a collection of nineteen essays mostly about cooking, restaurants, the media, etc. The only essays that don’t work at all are the obligatory “I have a daughter and I have to be a grown up now” essay and an unnecessary “where are they now?” summary of Kitchen Confidential characters. Bourdain’s background knowledge is his secret weapon. He’ll toss around culinary terms I’ve never heard and name-check chefs, restaurant critics, etc. like a fantasy football junkie trading wide receiver stats. He’ll remind you he’s done his time in the kitchen trenches. He rips Alice Waters (some famous hippy chef from California, I guess) a new asshole for offensive comments about people who say they can’t afford organic food but also admit he’s glad she exists. He’ll eviscerate another food critic for taking shots at his friends instead of aiming the crosshairs directly at him then follow with a mash-note describing a guy especially talented at cutting fish. And he’ll admit that bad cooking and lame food shows make him unreasonably angry. Some of the targets (e.g. vegetarians) are old Bourdain news, and he writes more for people who follow restaurant culture than ever before but I, who doubt I’ve ever been to a fine dining restaurant in my life, could follow along pretty well. Fans will recognize names and places (Ruhlman, Les Halles) from the Bourdain factsheet. Medium Raw may be a “fans only” book, really, but the essays embody enough of the Bourdain spirit to make reading fun and worthwhile, like a strong album from a band you really like, rather than an easy-money revisiting of slam-dunk themes. I think Bourdain has finally figured out he’s not going to crash and burn anytime soon. He’s here to stay and with that knowledge can write from an “I’m here and there’s nothing my detractors can do about it so I’m going to write about what I want” rather than a “I’m probably going to fail so fuck it, I’m writing about what I want” perspective. That subtle difference is important to Medium Raw. Anthony Bourdain is dead. Long live Anthony Bourdain.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Alan

    I love Anthony Bourdain’s wit, and I loved his shows Parts Unknown and no reservations. However, I didn’t love this book because it felt even more disjointed than Kitchen Confidential, a book I enjoyed. The book is made up of a series of essays slapped together in no cohesive progression. There are funny bits, and because I’m a fan, the biographical parts interest me. Particularly in light of him taking his own life, reading about his self-destructive behavior before he quit abusing drugs many y I love Anthony Bourdain’s wit, and I loved his shows Parts Unknown and no reservations. However, I didn’t love this book because it felt even more disjointed than Kitchen Confidential, a book I enjoyed. The book is made up of a series of essays slapped together in no cohesive progression. There are funny bits, and because I’m a fan, the biographical parts interest me. Particularly in light of him taking his own life, reading about his self-destructive behavior before he quit abusing drugs many years ago was fascinating. He describes living in the Caribbean and driving home drunk every night down curvy, mountain roads, which obviously could have led to his death and others’. If you haven’t read him yet but are considering it, go with Kitchen Confidential. For more reviews, please visit: http://www.theresaalan.net/blog

  6. 4 out of 5

    Malia

    Well, this was always going to be a bittersweet read. It still seems surreal that this vibrant man with such a curiosity for the world is not a part of it any longer, but his legacy lives on. He doesn't hold back, but is far more thoughtful and measured than in Kitchen Confidential. Certainly recommended, especially for fans of his shows and previous writing! Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com Well, this was always going to be a bittersweet read. It still seems surreal that this vibrant man with such a curiosity for the world is not a part of it any longer, but his legacy lives on. He doesn't hold back, but is far more thoughtful and measured than in Kitchen Confidential. Certainly recommended, especially for fans of his shows and previous writing! Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com

  7. 5 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I really liked parts of it. I loved hearing Anthony Bourdain narrate the story, which he did expertly. All those years of talking on TV have taught him to how to deliver lines flawlessly, and it shows. It's just like listening to him on TV, which made it easy, fun listening. I also laughed at some of his stories, really enjoying Tony when he feels his most real and down and dirty. However, parts of the story also annoyed me a great deal. I live I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I really liked parts of it. I loved hearing Anthony Bourdain narrate the story, which he did expertly. All those years of talking on TV have taught him to how to deliver lines flawlessly, and it shows. It's just like listening to him on TV, which made it easy, fun listening. I also laughed at some of his stories, really enjoying Tony when he feels his most real and down and dirty. However, parts of the story also annoyed me a great deal. I live in the NYC area, and though I'm not a foodie in any extreme sense, I've been to many of the high-end restaurants in Manhattan and I'm familiar with a variety of "star" chefs. Even still, I was clueless about the majority of chefs that Bourdain casually name drops. You need to be an insider, or someone who is a Chowhound and foodie-news devotee to really get all the references. For a book marketed to the general population, it was a little too "clubby" for my tastes. Bourdain is a strange mix of hating snobbery while being really snobby... and he knows it. He constantly exists in this dichotomy of wanting to be a New York diner cook and being so wealthy and privileged that his wife (now ex-wife) can fly solo at the drop of a hat to eat at Alinea in Chicago just to see why he didn't like it. Alinea starts at $200 per person before alcohol, I might add, and that is for the most basic menu. Mixed feelings about this book, but a skilled narration and an, at time, amusing set of stories.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    "I have long believed that it is only right and appropriate that before one sleeps with someone, one should be able—if called upon to do so—to make them a proper omelet in the morning. Surely that kind of civility and selflessness would be both good manners and good for the world. Perhaps omelet skills should be learned at the same time you learn to fuck. Perhaps there should be an unspoken agreement that in the event of loss of virginity, the more experienced of the partners should, afterward, "I have long believed that it is only right and appropriate that before one sleeps with someone, one should be able—if called upon to do so—to make them a proper omelet in the morning. Surely that kind of civility and selflessness would be both good manners and good for the world. Perhaps omelet skills should be learned at the same time you learn to fuck. Perhaps there should be an unspoken agreement that in the event of loss of virginity, the more experienced of the partners should, afterward, make the other an omelet—passing along the skill at an important and presumably memorable moment." Amen, my love. "Medium Raw" is the best possible title Bourdain could have given this book : it was written by a much mellower man than the one who (I like to picture) furiously scribbled "Kitchen Confidential" (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... a more mature person, who has taken a step back and did a decent amount of soul-searching. But because Anthony Bourdain is Anthony Bourdain, he serves his introspection like… well, not quite a slap in the face, but there’s no point in expecting subtlety or sugar-coating here. While it is not quite a sequel, it’s definitely preferable to have read “Kitchen Confidential” before you get into “Medium Raw”, as Bourdain reflects back on who he was when that first book was published and how much things have changed (in his life and in the cooking world) since. You’ll lose a lot of context if you are not familiar with the first book, but to be honest, I like this one better. They should come as a set. I was planning on keeping this as my bedside book, and to just read a few pages before bed for a few days, but that was underestimating how much I fucking love reading anything Bourdain wrote. Once I cracked it open, there was no stopping, or prying the book out of my hands. Reading Bourdain is an interesting experience for me because it makes me laugh, it makes me think about things may never have crossed my mind if it hadn’t been for his books, and I often find it very moving because he was not afraid to expose himself, flaws and all; I can’t help but find that combination incredibly sexy. “Medium Raw” is a rant, a confession, a manifesto. It’s not always pretty, but it’s always passionate and unapologetic – which is absolutely beautiful. It starts with a surreal story about eating ortolans, then hops from topic to topic: hitting rock bottom on a Caribbean island, whoring out to the Food Network and dealing with it, why culinary school might be a huge mistake, a statement about why cooking is a life skill literally everyone should master, a rant about the God-given right to a hamburger that won't kill you, his own very particular brand of fatherhood, a laundry list of people in the food world he loves and of those he can't stand. Every subject is dissected with insight, wit and enthusiasm. I thought I couldn’t fall in love with the man any harder after reading “A Cook’s Tour” (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) and binging “Parts Unknown” on Netflix; I was wrong. His way with words, the wonderfully twisted workings of his mind, his way of looking at the world and never averting his eye: reading this book made me melt. Sure, he was a cantankerous, world-weary recovered junkie, but I also can’t think of another non-fiction writer who has the kindness and authenticity he put on the page. The rude, cranky thing feels to me like an armor to hide a romantic and idealistic nature that the fucked up world we live in disappointed repeatedly. I get it, and this magnificent crazy man will always have a piece of my heart. If you like Bourdain's style, his shows or his other books, don't miss this one! --- Call me a sap, but reading this made me much more emotional than I had anticipated. My brand spanking new copy is clearly fresh off the press because in the little “about the author” blurb on the flyleaf, the publisher added the heartbreaking (for me, at least) line: “He died in 2018”. I confess a moment of true anger at the publishing industry’s callous cashing in: let’s republish his entire body of work, now that he’s dead, the sales will skyrocket! And here I am feeding the vultures! Once I calmed down from this moment of anarchist rage, I was simply grateful for the amazing word porn I held in my hands. But a bit of sadness and anger remains mixed in... --- Additional comment regarding the audiobook: my husband and I listened to it on the long drive between Rochester and Montréal, and it's amazing, as you could expect as it is read by Bourdain. That voice!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    Anthony Bourdain. I like his show and I like the way he writes. He has a no holds barred way of writing about what he thinks. Medium Raw is like a string of rants. Great material here on how he feels about certain chefs(good, bad, new, and seasoned) and especially the Food Network. I didn't understand his grievance with Food Network since that's where he started, but I get it now. He writes a little about his travels and how humbling it is to be fed in some places where there is almost nothing. Anthony Bourdain. I like his show and I like the way he writes. He has a no holds barred way of writing about what he thinks. Medium Raw is like a string of rants. Great material here on how he feels about certain chefs(good, bad, new, and seasoned) and especially the Food Network. I didn't understand his grievance with Food Network since that's where he started, but I get it now. He writes a little about his travels and how humbling it is to be fed in some places where there is almost nothing. No matter what he thinks about the food he is always grateful and,yes, he would like more of what they're serving. He mentions Kitchen Confidential throughout and that's where I found him 17 years ago. I have a special spot for it on my book shelf. It's time for another read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Will Mclaughlin

    An image of Tony Bourdain has been carefully cultivated by publishers, producers and Bourdain himself; this punk rock loving, hard drinking, two pack a day sacred cow killing rebel who suffers no fools and and takes no bullshit. Look no further than the cover of this book which features Bourdain staring out imperiously while handling the pointiest end of a knife. And to a certain extent the image is earned. But Medium Raw shatters that image in many ways. The standard Bourdain tropes are here: A An image of Tony Bourdain has been carefully cultivated by publishers, producers and Bourdain himself; this punk rock loving, hard drinking, two pack a day sacred cow killing rebel who suffers no fools and and takes no bullshit. Look no further than the cover of this book which features Bourdain staring out imperiously while handling the pointiest end of a knife. And to a certain extent the image is earned. But Medium Raw shatters that image in many ways. The standard Bourdain tropes are here: Alice Waters is a villain, James Beard society is bullshit, Alan Richman is a cunt. He continues to eviscerate carpetbagging parasites who continue to profit off of the food that he holds holy. But a much different Bourdain emerges in this book. Too much focus is always given to his "bad boy" image without balancing it out with the sound logic and empathetic reasons he has for giving the people/institutions shit. Just as an example, yes he calls Alice Waters a villain, but not just to slaughter an eminence grise. She has the hubris to suggest Obama appoint her to a special committee to address America's eating habits when she hasn't voted since the seventies. And she dreams of an America where everyone is a farmer of some sort. But he's also incredibly complimentary of her skill, intellect and social graces. A really different Anthony Bourdain comes out here. He's a very sentimental, loving husband and father. A good and loyal friend to those who share his passions. He's very frank about his limitations as a chef and very humble about the company he's been thrown in with. He fully admits that he's out of his league when he gets put on panels with guys like Ripert and Boloud. He dances with his daughter in day care. And he's very frank and apologetic about the collateral damage he may have done in Kitchen Confidential. This is a stand up guy who deserves to be read and treated as more than the cardboard tough guy punch out the media has made him out to be. The only disappointing thing about the book is the very fact that it follows Kitchen Confidential. It's like Weezer following their first album with Pinkerton; it was a fine album, but it was all about the travails of being a successful rock star. KC was so great (at least to people like me who used to work the line) because it transported you to the reality of that world. Most of what people see of kitchens and chefs is what they see on Top Chef or Chopped. You don't see the egos, the tensions and the overall seductive, sybaritic lifestyle that comes with working in the restaurant industry. There's not a ton of that here. Unless you're already a well known chef who is invited to be a judge on guest panels or you do a lot of international fringe traveling, there's not a ton to identify with here. Also there's a seeming hypocrisy afoot. The second chapter of the book, Bourdain talks at great length about how he refuses to license his name for his own line of cookware or refuses to let someone just slap his name on a restaurant for the marquee value. Yet I received this book as part of a cooking class called Anthony Bourdain's Mastering The Basics at the Sur La Table chain of kitchen stores. There's a chapter where he mentions a couple of things that we cooked in the class very briefly. But no real recipes. The recipes we made seemed pretty sanitized with an occasional "ass" or "shit" thrown in to make it sound like his voice. So I don't know if this was something done without his knowledge or if he gave up a valued principle. I met Chef Bourdain briefly back in NYC at Siberia Bar. A nice, genuine but reserved guy. We didn't get to talk a bunch or become best friends. But reading this book feels like sitting down and having a great conversation with a guy who's lived an amazing life.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Memoir 6 of my non-fiction November project - this one was a book on my TBR-explode list for the month (where I look at ten books on my TBR starting from the beginning) so I found the audio in hoopla. It was the first time I could stand to hear Anthony's voice since his death. Some of the sections in this book feel even more spot on nine years later about food and restaurant trends; some of it hasn't aged as well (surely the Anthony Bourdain who was a staunch defender of "believe women" would sp Memoir 6 of my non-fiction November project - this one was a book on my TBR-explode list for the month (where I look at ten books on my TBR starting from the beginning) so I found the audio in hoopla. It was the first time I could stand to hear Anthony's voice since his death. Some of the sections in this book feel even more spot on nine years later about food and restaurant trends; some of it hasn't aged as well (surely the Anthony Bourdain who was a staunch defender of "believe women" would speak differently of Mario Batali now, for instance.) But it definitely demonstrates a maturity and clear understanding of his place in the order of things. He uncomfortably mentions suicide and death a lot, so there is your warning. Some of this book is not for the squeamish. When I first picked it up I was a vegetarian and put it aside, it was a bit easier now, but he definitely looks at some extreme eating situations that are only available to the privileged and bored.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Barbara (The Bibliophage)

    Medium Raw is a great book for a foodie like me. I'm a fan of Bourdain's and especially enjoyed listening to the audiobook since he's the narrator. Every curse word is uttered with terrific emphasis, and he never pronounces anything related to the restaurant business incorrectly. But it's not all about any angry guy telling you about the people who piss him off. Bourdain talks about the relationships people have with food today, and what they pass on to their kids. More directly, he thinks paren Medium Raw is a great book for a foodie like me. I'm a fan of Bourdain's and especially enjoyed listening to the audiobook since he's the narrator. Every curse word is uttered with terrific emphasis, and he never pronounces anything related to the restaurant business incorrectly. But it's not all about any angry guy telling you about the people who piss him off. Bourdain talks about the relationships people have with food today, and what they pass on to their kids. More directly, he thinks parents who don't teach kids to cook are doing them a great disservice. I couldn't agree more. “Everyone should be encouraged at every turn to develop their own modest yet unique repertoire—to find a few dishes they love and practice at preparing them until they are proud of the result. To either respect in this way their own past—or express through cooking their dreams for the future. Every citizen would thus have their own specialty. Why can we not do this? There is no reason in the world. Let us then go forward. With vigor.” Bourdain also is very clearly a citizen of the world, not just New York City or the United States. He made me want to go to Hanoi and have Pho there. In the meantime, I'll probably go grab a bowl from my friend's noodle shop very soon. He talks about cooks and the career of a chef or cook. I especially appreciated the essay about Gustavo, who preps about 700 pounds of fish every day at Le Bernardin in Manhatten. Gustavo is from the Dominican Republic, and has an impeccable work ethic. Bourdain convinces the boss to let him buy Gustavo a dinner - the full tasting menu - at Le Bernardin, something normally prohibited. That he wanted to do this makes me love Bourdain just a little more. This is the advice he gives that I wish someone had told me 30 years ago: "If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” A fun, food-related read!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Oh Tony! you have so much to offer: pithy observations, thoughtful commentary on a host of subjects... and then you devolve into talking shit about (almost) everyone. Sure, that's some of your charm - you say it like it is, you snark, you are lovingly curmudgeonly - but a few times in reading this book that I just skipped ... and skipped over few chapters. Too much bad jou jou with all the mud-slinging. You had some great tales to tell: island hopping with the "old money" crazy girl, teaching yo Oh Tony! you have so much to offer: pithy observations, thoughtful commentary on a host of subjects... and then you devolve into talking shit about (almost) everyone. Sure, that's some of your charm - you say it like it is, you snark, you are lovingly curmudgeonly - but a few times in reading this book that I just skipped ... and skipped over few chapters. Too much bad jou jou with all the mud-slinging. You had some great tales to tell: island hopping with the "old money" crazy girl, teaching your daughter about the evils of fast food, Changology, in the kitchen and the dining room with Justo the Dominican... and hell, I even read and got something out of your lambasting of vegetarianism (although I have to say, you seem to miss the point entirely... and you didn't change my mind: I eat vegetarian food AND while you may "hate" my kind, I still have an odd and inexplicable affection towards YOU) especially your note to your "friend" after your harrowing trip to Beirut. ...and I really could have done without the final essay on the roomful of famous chefs eating the threatened species of French bird... irresponsible, selfish, and wrong is what it really is... but I digress. That being said, I will still watch your show, and read your books and articles. I think it is your unique blend of joie de vivre that keeps reeling me in - you are so damn passionate about your food and your travels. And I get that. I am too. I just prefer my pho with vegetable broth and veggies We can still agree that it is one of the most amazing foods on earth. Tenuously yours, L

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Well, I'm going to do something I've never done before. I'm going to review this book before I'm finished with it. I loved Anthony Bourdain. When he committed suicide I was stunned, and heartbroken. I have a rule about famous people that I love, and that is that if I love their works, I tend to ignore them personally. I've found that I can go decades being a fan of...whomever, just so long as I don't meet them, or see them interviewed. It keeps my good thoughts of them intact! My favorite person Well, I'm going to do something I've never done before. I'm going to review this book before I'm finished with it. I loved Anthony Bourdain. When he committed suicide I was stunned, and heartbroken. I have a rule about famous people that I love, and that is that if I love their works, I tend to ignore them personally. I've found that I can go decades being a fan of...whomever, just so long as I don't meet them, or see them interviewed. It keeps my good thoughts of them intact! My favorite person ever is Stephen King, yet since the late 1970's, I've only watched him being interviewed 3 times. Bourdain though...Man, he had a caustic wit, and there wasn't any show he was in that you didn't know his in your face, take it or leave it personality. Like I said, I loved him. Reading this book, I've realized that he'd been suicidal most of his life. Great family, good upbringing, yet it's always been there. I'll confess that I have a deep hatred of people who kill themselves. Yeah, I get it. Suicide often seems the best recourse. I GET IT. If I had my way, I would have killed myself a long time ago. Truth is, my life struggles aren't about me. Once I brought children into it, my freewill was no longer mine. Suicide can sometimes be a legacy. That's not a family trait anyone should ever want to pass down.I was discussing this with my daughter, and I have a theory that suicide begets suicide. I don't know if it's true or not, and she didn't quite take my side...yet, it makes sense. If someone kills themselves, then why wouldn't others think to themselves "well lookee there, they did it just fine, so why shouldn't I do that?" I can't watch Mr. Bourdain ever again without thinking of how his life ended. Same reason I can't watch Robin Williams movies. I'll eventually finish this book, but it's going to take a few weeks. I'll love it, because it's Bourdain. Also, I too despised the food network. If you open it from a can, then you've lost my respect. Don't get me wrong, I open cans..;-) however I'm just a person who cooks...occasionally.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alex Givant

    Excellent continuation of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. Like chapters about other chefs and their techniques. Excellent continuation of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. Like chapters about other chefs and their techniques.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Juliet Doubledee

    Chalk one up to Anthony Bourdain once again, as he presents a witty and insightful view of the culinary world. In Medium Raw Bourdain discusses the changes that have taken place in the subculture of chefs and cooks, the restaurant business, and in his own life during the ten years since her banged out his mega best selling book, Kitchen Confidential . Bourdain admits no longer can he call himself "chef", especially after filming an episode of "No Reservations" in which he went back to his Chalk one up to Anthony Bourdain once again, as he presents a witty and insightful view of the culinary world. In Medium Raw Bourdain discusses the changes that have taken place in the subculture of chefs and cooks, the restaurant business, and in his own life during the ten years since her banged out his mega best selling book, Kitchen Confidential . Bourdain admits no longer can he call himself "chef", especially after filming an episode of "No Reservations" in which he went back to his old stomping grounds at Brasserie Les Halles, and once again worked his station for a day. This episode it is a definite reminder, "ya never can go back", as he finds his knees and joints no longer willing to accept the abuse of constant bending to get into the low-boy refrigerator, and his aging eyes unable to read the requests sent to his station because of fogged glasses or grease streaked lenses. Medium Raw discusses the transformation he has gone through, from angry journeyman cook to globe-traveling professional eater/drinker and how it has brought him in contact with some of the top creative minds in the food world (Eric Ripert, Thomas Keller, Ferran Adrià, Fergus Henderson, Marco Pierre White, and Mario Batali) praising them for their love of ingredients and cutting edge development of new dishes. He apologizes for remarks about Emeril Lagasse and Bobby Flay, explaining that he now has a better understanding of what they have gone through to reach the level they are at as TV celebrity chefs. Also, he explains why he has serious disdain for food demigods like Alan Richman, Alice Waters, and Alain Ducasse. Unlike previous books he has written which were very direct with liberal use of profanity and sexual references, the reader gets a feeling that Bourdain has accepted his new role and is embracing a "kinder, gentler Tony". Could this be the result of fatherhood? In fact, my favorite chapters in the book deal with the relationship he has with his 3-year-old daughter and how it has changed his outlook on the world. No longer is he the rebel who does as he pleases, trading his leather jacket for a more "fatherly" look, making sure his behavior doesn't land him on any celebrity websites, and not being embarassed to be seen dancing with her and her little friends. But again Bourdain is Bourdain, as he points out how he is teaching his child to see American fast-food culture as he does... as the enemy. Telling her that Ronald McDonald "has cooties and stinks like...poo". If you are a "foodie", enjoy seeing and hearing his opinion as a judge on "Top Chef", would like to find out about the man behind Kitchen Confidential , or just want to see why everyone is talking about him, you will definitely enjoy this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    I'll admit it--I'm not much of a foodie, and I've never been a close follower of Anthony Bourdain. I've seen a few great episodes of "No Reservations," but I've never gotten around to reading Kitchen Confidential. There's no doubt, however, that the man can write. Fans will undoubtedly salivate over Medium Raw, a book that is less a linear narrative and more a series of essays, some of them personal (about his new family life, for instance) but most of them taking aim at the modern food world: t I'll admit it--I'm not much of a foodie, and I've never been a close follower of Anthony Bourdain. I've seen a few great episodes of "No Reservations," but I've never gotten around to reading Kitchen Confidential. There's no doubt, however, that the man can write. Fans will undoubtedly salivate over Medium Raw, a book that is less a linear narrative and more a series of essays, some of them personal (about his new family life, for instance) but most of them taking aim at the modern food world: the double-edged sword that is Alice Waters; a look inside the ever complex mind of chef David Chang, which almost reads like a New Yorker profile; the precariousness of the restaurant business in post-meltdown America; the highs and lows of the Top Chef winners and losers; a chapter of Bourdain's favorite meals that he's had around the world--truly some of the most fantastic food porn penned in recent memory; and a chapter called "Alan Richman is a Douchebag," a spectacular takedown of the food writer and critic. Of course, there's plenty of scathing prose throughout, and enough jabs to delight even the most seasoned Bourdain fans. But each chapter is part of a larger conversation Bourdain's having with himself, and he always returns to the implication of the question that ties the book together: Why, today, does it matter to cook well?

  18. 4 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    I’ve been wanting to revisit Bourdain’s nonfiction, but previously hadn’t felt up to it. THE LAST INTERVIEW was published Tues, so I started that, and decided to reread Medium Raw. It sounds dramatic and cheesy, but I think I’m finally mourning. He touched his fans deeply. In this collection he backtracks a little on Kitchen Confidential; growth and CYA. 😂 Plus many more culinary delights. Hearing his voice was tough, but this is a nice collection.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    By now, pretty much anyone with an interest in popular culture, food or books knows who Anthony Bourdain is. With his wildly successful debut nonfiction title, Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain burst onto the literary scene with an acerbic, profane and hilarious voice all his own. Lambasting the industry he made a career in for 28 years while at the same time baring his own addictions and shortcomings, Bourdain rightly became a darling of the very people he tore apart. He translated this success in By now, pretty much anyone with an interest in popular culture, food or books knows who Anthony Bourdain is. With his wildly successful debut nonfiction title, Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain burst onto the literary scene with an acerbic, profane and hilarious voice all his own. Lambasting the industry he made a career in for 28 years while at the same time baring his own addictions and shortcomings, Bourdain rightly became a darling of the very people he tore apart. He translated this success into a series of television shows that centered not on his cooking skills but rather his love of travel, exploring and experiencing other cultures through their food. In the process, he transcended both the genre and the medium. Ten years latr, if anyone wondered whether this level of success would mellow Bourdain, Medium Raw is another emphatic "Fuck no!" to that question. In a series of loosely connected essays, Bourdain continues to marshal his considerable storytelling skills to disembowel the current state of gastronomy, laying out on the cutting board the celebrity chefs, the heroes and villains of the industry, the bloggers, tv show hosts, rich bitch ex girlfriends and media CEOs, all the while poking and prodding at the ridiculous(Alice Waters' hypocritical "slow food" dinners for which she trucks in food from 6 hours away and flies in chefs from across the country) and the status quo(ripping to threads the entrenched GQ food critic Alan Richman, where Bourdain starts the essay calling Richman an asshole and culminates with him calling the man a cunt). Bourdain obviously revels in his ability to inflame his critics. Case in point: his opening salvo, a lush, nearly pornographic account of a furtive dinner he attends with other chef celebrities where he's served the decadent and illegal ortolan bunting (an ancient French peasant dish that consists of a fattened endangered baby bird drowned [literally] in licquer. In an elaborate and ritualistic dinner, the chick is eaten whole, headfirst, organs, bones and head intact and with the diner's head shrouded by a napkin, to savor the aroma and it's said, to hide one's face from God.) Or take his withering attack on vegetarianism and veganism, in the form of a venomous email to a friend, rightly questioning his friend's (and by proxy, the movement's) prioritizing animal suffering over human suffering. In the process, he skewers the Hindu veneration of the cow which often results in the animals wandering hungrily into cities and devouring plastic bags, dying slow painful deaths as the indigestible plastic winds its way through the beast's digestive system. Despite the in your face punk bravado of Bourdain's prose, his credo is ultimately a down to earth humanism that shines through all his essays. Take his piece about Justo Thomas, the fish butcher of the Michelin starred fine dining establishment, Le Bernardin. Bourdain spends a day at work with the older immigrant worker as he dresses and preps 700 pounds of fish to Eric Ripert's highly exacting standards. So impressed by Thomas' skills and work ethic is Bourdain (always quick to extol the virtues of the unsung toiling masses behind the scenes in every restaurant, from the local taco joint to the French Laundry) that he treats the man to dinner at Le Bernardin. This is an especially touching part of the book, showing both the compassion and the camaraderie Bourdain feels for those whose work he admires. Though never apologizing for his success or wealth, Bourdain obviously respects those who make a pittance and could never afford to eat where they work. It goes without saying that this is not everyone's osso bucco. If you're thin skinned and cling particularly hard to a dogma that Bourdain opposes, you probably already dislike this book and the man himself. If you cringe at Bourdain's easy and prolific use of even the most reviled profanities and obscenities, don't bother opening the book at all. If you pale at frank references to hard drug use by a recovered drug abuser who unapologetically still gets hammered on a regular basis, this book is not for you. If you have a problem with a sensual enjoyment of food that borders on- and often drunkenly stumbles into- the hedonistic, look elsewhere. But if, like me, you crack the book knowing exactly what to expect, you'll find yet another reminder why Bourdain enjoys the success he does. His wit and intelligence are matched only by his obvious adoration for his subjects: food, those who make it and those who enjoy it. There are a few spots that drag a little, a few points Bourdain makes a little too emphatically. But knowing Bourdain's penchant for excess, is this really surprising? In the end, as with the most satisfying meals, the last bite leaves you longing for more despite feeling done for now.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    After finally getting to “Kitchen Confidential” earlier this month, I couldn’t wait to get to this one. I so rarely read an author (any author) back to back, but couldn’t help myself. I could listen to chef tell stories all day long. His musings on food and the people who prepare it are endlessly fascinating to me. Watch out though, if you get on his bad side, chef has zero problem calling you out. I laughed out loud when he called The Food Network “The empire of mediocrity successfully spreadin After finally getting to “Kitchen Confidential” earlier this month, I couldn’t wait to get to this one. I so rarely read an author (any author) back to back, but couldn’t help myself. I could listen to chef tell stories all day long. His musings on food and the people who prepare it are endlessly fascinating to me. Watch out though, if you get on his bad side, chef has zero problem calling you out. I laughed out loud when he called The Food Network “The empire of mediocrity successfully spreading its tentacles everywhere.” True, so true. We used to call it “floozy housewife” cooking when I was in culinary school. My wife smacks me whenever I use that term and yet, I still think it’s funny and still use it often. (Not politically correct, yes, I know.) If you have ever worked in a professional kitchen then Bourdain’s books are a must read. Even if you haven’t, I am betting that you will be thoroughly entertained.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mona

    This is a compilation of essays on random topics related to food and cooking. I enjoy Anthony Bourdain's writing, even though our culinary tastes could not be more different. He describes food  and kitchen secrets like no one else before him, being at the same time self critical and down to earth. This book is in some way continuation of "Kitchen Confidential" with a little more personal touch to it. I found it very entertaining and thought provoking at times. Author's distance to life and differ This is a compilation of essays on random topics related to food and cooking. I enjoy Anthony Bourdain's writing, even though our culinary tastes could not be more different. He describes food  and kitchen secrets like no one else before him, being at the same time self critical and down to earth. This book is in some way continuation of "Kitchen Confidential" with a little more personal touch to it. I found it very entertaining and thought provoking at times. Author's distance to life and different values was clearly enhanced by his travels and meeting veriaty of people from multiple cultures. His reservation to consumerism and admiration of simplicity is well defined in this book. I wish the editing would be a little better but for what it is - it's very good.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    "How long that sort of douche-oriented economy survives is questionable." Not my favorite of Bourdain's books. He's really mastered this weird little game he plays where he starts off by savaging one celebrity chef or another and then backtracks utterly, excusing all the things he just hated on and concluding that they're not so bad after all. What fun is that? Bourdain at his best has something worthwhile to say about the importance of food and the value of embracing different cultures through eat "How long that sort of douche-oriented economy survives is questionable." Not my favorite of Bourdain's books. He's really mastered this weird little game he plays where he starts off by savaging one celebrity chef or another and then backtracks utterly, excusing all the things he just hated on and concluding that they're not so bad after all. What fun is that? Bourdain at his best has something worthwhile to say about the importance of food and the value of embracing different cultures through eating with them. But maybe just watch a few episodes of No Reservations instead of this.

  23. 5 out of 5

    CYIReadBooks (Claire)

    Blistering read. Boy! Mr. Bourdain sure had a number of issues -- drug addiction, anger issues, and a disdain for life in general. This novel is not really a memoir, but a critique of the restaurant business, restaurateurs, with smatterings of his struggles. It was a little off putting at times -- especially with the expletives. But, that's Anthony for you. Read it if you want to know more about the man. Rated it three stars. I just like it. Nothing spectacular about it, but still interesting. Blistering read. Boy! Mr. Bourdain sure had a number of issues -- drug addiction, anger issues, and a disdain for life in general. This novel is not really a memoir, but a critique of the restaurant business, restaurateurs, with smatterings of his struggles. It was a little off putting at times -- especially with the expletives. But, that's Anthony for you. Read it if you want to know more about the man. Rated it three stars. I just like it. Nothing spectacular about it, but still interesting.

  24. 5 out of 5

    TraceyL

    This book made me hungry. In it Bourdain describes the best meals he's ever eaten with so much detail you can taste it. I much preferred this book to his most famous one Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. It has great insight to how the industry works but in a more positive way. He really loved food and the industry as a whole. The book starts off with Bourdain talking about his dark history with drug abuse and suicidal thoughts. That really made an impact since I was re This book made me hungry. In it Bourdain describes the best meals he's ever eaten with so much detail you can taste it. I much preferred this book to his most famous one Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. It has great insight to how the industry works but in a more positive way. He really loved food and the industry as a whole. The book starts off with Bourdain talking about his dark history with drug abuse and suicidal thoughts. That really made an impact since I was reading this after his suicide. He also talked about his daughter and how he always wanted to be a father but didn't think it was in the cards for him. It's very sweet and also heartbreaking with the extra context. I really loved when he spoke about other chefs. He built up the people he liked and cut down the people he didn't. The food world, especially in New York City, is smaller than you think and reputation is everything. Overall this was a really interesting read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ensiform

    [Random Read. 5, nonfiction of any kind.] A collection of writing on food and cooks. This is the fourth Bourdain book I've read, and while there's plenty of the patented Bourdain snark and spark in its pages, it also serves, coming as it does ten years after the book that brought him sudden fame and fortune, as a sort of apologia or retrospective. There's even a "where are they now" style look back at some of the old colleagues discussed in Kitchen Confidential (with some aliases revealed). A gif [Random Read. 5, nonfiction of any kind.] A collection of writing on food and cooks. This is the fourth Bourdain book I've read, and while there's plenty of the patented Bourdain snark and spark in its pages, it also serves, coming as it does ten years after the book that brought him sudden fame and fortune, as a sort of apologia or retrospective. There's even a "where are they now" style look back at some of the old colleagues discussed in Kitchen Confidential (with some aliases revealed). A gifted story-teller who can be vulgar and funny and evoke a beautiful, meaningful Hanoi scene with equal ease, Bourdain is still probably at his most comfortable talking about himself. The first piece talks about who is a "sell out" and what it would take to get him personally to "sell out." This pretty much sets the tone for his attitude for the rest of the pages: I'm a scamp, he implies, and we know it, and I'm ridiculous so what I say doesn't matter, and now that we have that out of the way, listen to what I say about a variety of topics. There's a chapter about how angry he once was, and how he finds some passages in Kitchen Confidential to be written by a person who doesn't exist any more. And yet he can't help it. Even as he apologizes for ever stirring the pot, he throws the lid open and gets a big ol' spoon. He leaves Rachael Ray alone because she sent him a fruit basket (!), but Alice Waters isn't going to do that, so he tears into her with gusto. But for all his faults, it's clear that Bourdain genuinely cares about food and the art of cooking. When he approves of a chef, such as David Chang, or a perfectionist fish cutter, the writing approaches hagiography. While some of the writing here seems familiar or even desultory, Bourdain's wit and passion keep the reader engaged.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    Book: ★ ★ ½ Narration: ★ ★ ★ ½ I love watching Bourdain's TV shows. I especially love it when he's a judge on Top Chef. I also love to read when he blogs about the show too. For some reason though, his books end up being sort of mediocre. I only got through half of Kitchen Confidential before I gave up and moved onto something else. I keep telling myself I'll come back to it someday, but I'm really not sure I will. I ended up listening to this book on audio, and I think that might be the way to go Book: ★ ★ ½ Narration: ★ ★ ★ ½ I love watching Bourdain's TV shows. I especially love it when he's a judge on Top Chef. I also love to read when he blogs about the show too. For some reason though, his books end up being sort of mediocre. I only got through half of Kitchen Confidential before I gave up and moved onto something else. I keep telling myself I'll come back to it someday, but I'm really not sure I will. I ended up listening to this book on audio, and I think that might be the way to go when it comes to this type of book. At least, for me. Bourdain is funny, crude, and tells it like it is, although at times some of the insider stories get a bit boring when you don't know the people or restaurants he's talking about. I found myself at times spacing out on chapters where he talked about notable chefs that I had never heard of. I guess this is to be expected since I've never have or never will be in the food industry. I watch a lot of foodie TV though, so I knew who Eric Ripert, Wylie Dufresne, and Thomas Keller where. He spends a whole chapter on a food critic that I had never even heard of though. And then he also gets the reader caught up on people from Kitchen Confidential, which I hadn't finished and had no idea who he was referring to, but that's my fault I suppose. I particularly loved the sections where he talked about The Food Network and Top Chef. I really enjoyed his descriptions of his meeting with Sandra Lee, or "the Hell Spawn of Betty Crocker and Kathie Lee," as he's referred to her. I'm not sure how comfortable I am about him apologizing for ripping apart Rachel Ray and others, because I enjoy his surliness. I guess that once you reach a certain age, and after you have a kid, you lose a bit of that anger. I'm glad he narrated this book; it was a good listen, albeit boring in parts, but definitely worth the time.

  27. 5 out of 5

    James Thane

    Ten years after his surprising best seller, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, Anthony Bourdain has perhaps mellowed a bit, but happily only a bit. In Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, the former chef turned-critic and global traveler surveys the current state of the food and restaurant world. As always, Bourdain is witty and profane, and he rarely pulls a punch as he takes on topics ranging from the Food Network, to the fast fo Ten years after his surprising best seller, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, Anthony Bourdain has perhaps mellowed a bit, but happily only a bit. In Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, the former chef turned-critic and global traveler surveys the current state of the food and restaurant world. As always, Bourdain is witty and profane, and he rarely pulls a punch as he takes on topics ranging from the Food Network, to the fast food industry, and to several of the biggest names in the culinary world today. In the process he traces the arc of his own career over the last decade, which has seen him rise from being a chef with fairly modest credentials and the writer of a couple of unsuccessful mystery novels to something of a megastar. Even those who pay little or no attention to food and to the food industry will almost certainly enjoy this book, simply because Bourdain is an excellent writer--irreverent, engaging, and funny as hell, even when he's being serious.

  28. 4 out of 5

    David

    There are some great moments and typical entertaining chapters by Tony in this one...but there are also some moments that don't grab you. The wit is always there to urge others to read this still, as I would recommend. There are some great moments and typical entertaining chapters by Tony in this one...but there are also some moments that don't grab you. The wit is always there to urge others to read this still, as I would recommend.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sabine

    I read this right after Kitchen Confidential. It is not as good as his first book but still a page turner that kept me hooked until the end.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eve Dangerfield

    As I consume more of Anthony Bourdain's work, as I read it out loud to my boyfriend and we both laugh, as I tear up hearing him talk about his daughter I understand why people have said they can't read his books or watch his shows since he died. It's so strange to fall in love with someone's writing after they're gone in the way he left, but I'm glad I have. As I consume more of Anthony Bourdain's work, as I read it out loud to my boyfriend and we both laugh, as I tear up hearing him talk about his daughter I understand why people have said they can't read his books or watch his shows since he died. It's so strange to fall in love with someone's writing after they're gone in the way he left, but I'm glad I have.

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