Tuesday, September 22, 2015

medium raw

medium raw
anthony bourdain
published 2010

Medium Raw marks the return of the inimitable Anthony Bourdain, author of the blockbuster bestseller Kitchen Confidential and three-time Emmy Award-nominated host of No Reservations on TV's Travel Channel.  Bourdain calls his book, "A Blood Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook," and he is at his entertaining best as he takes aim at some of the biggest names in the foodie world, including David Chang, Alice Waters, the Top Chef winners and losers, and many more.  If Hunter S. Thompson had written a book about the restaurant business, it could have been Medium Raw.

I must begin my review by stating that I love Anthony Bourdain.  There is very little that he has done or said in his career that I didn't find true or amusing, or both.  And I think that Medium Raw is excellent.  He is honest, both about the people he thinks are wrong and about himself.  No one is safe from his critiques, but he isn't just spewing vitriol or haphazardly calling people douchebags.  There is a method to his madness.  He is equally negative and positive in his critiques and while he may think that Alice Waters should probably retire her gardens for schools idea he thinks her heart is in the right place.  When he names someone a villain he has a reason and a good one at that.

He does a quick 'where are they now' for the co-stars of Kitchen Confidential and it makes me want to go back and read it all over again.  He admits that there is no way he can hack it on the line anymore.  He talks a lot about starting his career moving away from the kitchen and in front of the camera.  He discusses why Food Network is evil and David Chang is brilliant and a maniac.  He validates that Top Chef really is the only cooking competition show on TV worth watching.  ;)  I loved every word.

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