Monday, August 28, 2006

"The Nasty Bits" - Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain is the chef de cuisine at a French restaurant in Manhattan who achieved a degree of notoriety a few years back with a tell all autobiography of his life as a journeyman chef in New York called "Kitchen Confidential". "The Nasty Bits" is a collection of essays and articles he's written over the past several years things from dining in Vietnam to how a Central American and Mexican cooks are the real engines behind even the most upscale American restaurants and it's a great thing.
Bourdain is an ex-junkie and is clearly a food and adrenaline freak now. He writes in a sharp, profanity laced style that makes you want to try exotic ingredients and visit strange locales. He also provides numerous descriptions of how a kitchen works and how professional cooks operate. I admit to being enthralled by even simply adequate descriptions of competent people working at their crafts and trades. Bourdain is much better than merely adequate.
He had a show on the Food Network that was cancelled for not being downmarket enough. Now he's on the Travel Channel and was recently caught in Beirut during the war's outbreak.

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