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A Cook's Tour: In Search of the Perfect Mealby Anthony Bourdain
"Take a little Bruce Chatwin, a heavy dose of MFK Fisher, the lacerating nastiness of Gore Vidal, and you might come up with something like A Cook's Tour, a thrillingly alive, somewhat out of control, mad, swirling bacchanalia of a book. Bourdain's around-the-world party (with stops in Cambodia, Vietnam, Russia, and Japan, among other places) of eating, drinking and surely participating in lots of activities that didn't make it into the book, is rapturously gluttonous, unrepentantly hedonistic. No one (except maybe the great Ms. Fisher or Elizabeth David) writes about food like this — food as love, as passion, as life." Adrienne Miller, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)
Synopses & Reviews
Dodging minefields in Cambodia, diving into the icy waters outside a Russian bath, Chef Bourdain travels the world over in search of the ultimate meal.
The only thing Anthony Bourdain loves as much as cooking is traveling, and A Cook's Tour is the shotgun marriage of his two greatest passions. Inspired by the question, 'What would be the perfect meal?', Anthony sets out on a quest for his culinary holy grail.
Our adventurous chef starts out in Japan, where he eats traditional Fugu, a poisonous blowfish which can be prepared only by specially licensed chefs. He then travels to Cambodia, up the mine-studded road to Pailin into autonomous Khmer Rouge territory and to Phnom Penh's Gun Club, where local fare is served up alongside a menu of available firearms. In Saigon, he's treated to a sustaining meal of live Cobra heart before moving on to savor a snack with the Viet Cong in the Mecong Delta. Further west, Kitchen Confidential fans will recognize the Gironde of Tony's youth, the first stop on his European itinerary. And from France, it's on to Portugal, where an entire village has been fattening a pig for months in anticipation of his arrival. And we're only halfway around the globe...
A Cook's Tour recounts, in Bourdain's inimitable style, the adventures and misadventures of America's favorite chef.
"[Bourdain]'s just a guy, out for a good time....[O]rder up...if you're looking for a camel ride and an amiable companion." Carolyn See, Washington Post
"Bourdain understands, better than any chef need, that great meals are not about the food on the plate, or the service...but about the moment. It is a curious alchemy of location, emotion and incident." Jay Rayner, The Observer
"...delightful....a lively read." Rick Nelson, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Bourdain's enthusiasm is so intense that is practically explodes off the page....When he's writing about restaurants and food he love (or loves to hate), Bourdain shows himself to be one of the country's best food writers. His opinions are as strong as his language, and his tastes as infectious as his joy." Sam Sifton, New York Times Book Review
"What makes A Cook's Tour work is that Bourdain is an adventurous thinker who doesn't miss an opportunity to write his way out of any situation. He perfects a style that is both spare...and extravagant....It's a style that reflects his own persona, which is one part Hell's Kitchen braggart, one part self-belittling neurotic." Caryn B. Brooks, Willamette Week
The only thing "gonzo gastronome" and internationally bestselling author Anthony Bourdain loves as much as cooking is traveling. Inspired by the question, "What would be the perfect meal?," Tony sets out on a quest for his culinary holy grail, and in the process turns the notion of "perfection" inside out. From California to Cambodia, A Cooks' Tour chronicles the unpredictable adventures of America's boldest and bravest chef.
About the Author
Anthony Bourdain is the author of the novels Bone in the Throatand Gone Bamboo. He is the executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in New York.
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