Synopses & Reviews
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 business — and 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 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.
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.
“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.” Time Magazine
“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.” BookPage
“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
“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
“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.” Austin American-Statesman
“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
"Compulsively readable." New York Magazine's Grub Street
"This is Bourdain at his best. His food-porn vignettes are guaranteed to make your mouth water." Miami Herald
This long-awaited follow-up to Kitchen Confidential contains the confessions, rants, investigations, and interrogations of some of the more controversial figures in food. Bourdain tracks his own unexpected voyage from journeyman cook to celebrity chef and globe-traveling professional eater and drinker.
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 traveling 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.)
The author of "Kitchen Confidential" explores how his life and the cooking world have changed since his last book, offering up candid assessments of such figures as David Chang, Alice Waters, and the "Top Chef" winners and losers.
About the Author
Anthony Bourdain is the author of the novels Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo, in addition to the mega-bestseller Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour. His work has appeared in the New York Times and The New Yorker, and he is a contributing authority for Food Arts magazine. He is also the host of the popular television show No Reservations.