With his explosive and inciteful entré to cookery writing, Kitchen Confidential, in 2000, Anthony Bourdain laid bare the journeyman career of a kitchen hoodlum inspiring readers to get stuck in and cook like they’re in ‘Nam. It was a memoir that in part romantiscised the nitty gritty of the kitchen and stole away the Mummsy preserve of food writing from the Martha Stewart/Delia Smith generation that had preceded it. His writing is enthralling, “honest” and vital, though probably to the point of bravado but who could deny a chef the cinematic machismo that a fast paced, sweaty, oft near perilous workplace might encourage? His follow up A Cooks Tour was a “Boys Own” compendium of daring foods and exotic locations and his Les Halles Cookbook , a “go on I dare you” collection of classic French cuisine of the sort his now famous former restaurant supplies. There in no denying, among the numerous books and TV shows Chef Bourdain has produced, there is a whirling, at first centrifugal, now gravitational, if not magnetic pull giving density and mass to his ego. He is engaging but has his latest serving pushed the boat out a little too far? Christine Muhlke of the New York Times discusses the man’s career and new collection of essays titled, Medium Raw.
“Medium Raw” follows his 2006 sausage-maker, “The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones.” This “bloody valentine” contains pointed critiques, astute asides and semi-reported stories that tend to circle back to himself — the real reason, he presumes, you’re buying this book.
It’s a great review and the extract barely hints at it’s insightfulness. Click on the link above and read it in full.
In the mean time here’s Bourdain doing his thing: