[Read] ➲ Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook By Anthony Bourdain – Motyourdrive.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

  1. says:

    Order the fucking fish on Monday Although Medium Raw isn t, technically speaking, a sequel to Anthony Bourdain s first collection of restaurant industry related essays, it s definitely a companion volume to the point where if you read Medium Raw without first having read Kitchen Confidential, you re not really getting the full experience Kitchen Confidential was a brash, cranky, profanity filled collection of essays detailing the ugly ins and outs of the restaurant industry and the people who make a living from it, and even the positive essays were still brimming with piss and vinegar One of the most quoted essays from the book explains why you should never order fish on a Monday, so it s a good indication of how much Bourdain s worldview has changed since Kitchen Confidential The crankiness is now tempered with weariness, and a resigned irritation mostly directed at himself that so many people have held him up as some kind of all knowing expert on the restaurant industry If Kitchen Confidential is a bitter, ultra boozy triple IPA, Medium Raw is a cask aged stout still strong, still bitter, but complex and well aged In fact, I think the thesis of Medium Raw can be best summed up by this single line by Bourdain I m through being cool A lot of Medium Raw has Bourdain holding a critical lens to his previously fast held beliefs, and re examining with the benefit of hindsight and decades in the industry In addition to wearily telling his readers to just order the fucking fish on Monday, he also spends a chapter discussing the concept of selling out and how it s stupid to hold yourself to some kind of high moral standard when it comes to endorsement if selling frozen food on infomercials is what keeps your restaurant open, you do it, and you do it with a smile Medium Raw also presents us with a Bourdain who is, if not nicer, then at least willing to live and let live He still has nothing but contempt for Sandra Lee, but a chapter where he endlessly snarks on Alice Waters ends with him warmly and genuinely singing her praises Of course, this is immediately followed by a chapter explaining why a certain food critic is, in no uncertain terms, a total douchebag Tigers can t change their stripes It s not all backtracking and reflection Bourdain also takes us through the history of the Food Network and how it s changed over time, and how the company became a profitable business model Food Network Magazine is one of the few print magazines left that s still profitable , but did this at the expense of the chefs who founded the network He also reflects on his career, and how he s ultimately stumbled into this career Another really good chapter has Bourdain delving into what he tells people when they ask him whether they should go to culinary school, and it manages to be both intimidating and inspiring The boldest aspect of Medium Raw, however, is when Bourdain puts his ego aside entirely and admits, simply, I am not a chef It s true Anthony Bourdain hasn t been in a working kitchen for decades, and he doesn t hesitate to admit that there are thousands of infinitely talented people working in the culinary world, and that his fame is only partially built on his abilities in the kitchen But we don t read Anthony Bourdain s books because he s a great chef We read his books because they re written with a clear, engaging voice, and because he knows how to tell a great story, and has plenty of great stories to tell Also, if you can, try doing what I did and listening to this as an audiobook hearing Bourdain himself tell the stories in this book is half of the appeal Anthony Bourdain is right he s not a chef He s a writer And thank goodness for that.


  2. says:

    I like Anthony Bourdain in part because he admits the mini empire he s created is a good paying gig and he feels fortunate to have landed it Bourdain s a paradox in that his street level authenticity is one of his strengths but, at the same time, he admits he s loaded and gets all the privileges associated with his celebrity While he self depreciates with the best of them he s also not nearly off the cuff, I think, as he d like his fans to believe He s like a less frantic Klosterman except with talent and knowledge of his field And he recognizes authenticity, however staged, makes good writing and television If you were to put him, say, on Rachel Ray s show, even after he s slammed her in print, he could both talk with her courteously and impart the idea that he s not buying into the Food Network entertainer concept while he s on her very show on that very network That s a rare skill.Now that Bourdain s done the food memoir Kitchen Confidential , the travel book A Cook s Tour , and the articles outtakes collection The Nasty Bits , I was skeptical of Medium Raw because I m not sure about what else he could write without re treading easy literary marks Medium Raw, however, is successful for fans I think I ve seen every No Reservation episode and have admitted to a Bourdain man crush but probably less effective as an introduction to Bourdain s work unless you re a food culture person, in which case you ve already heard of Bourdain.The book reads as a collection of nineteen essays mostly about cooking, restaurants, the media, etc The only essays that don t work at all are the obligatory I have a daughter and I have to be a grown up now essay and an unnecessary where are they now summary of Kitchen Confidential characters Bourdain s background knowledge is his secret weapon He ll toss around culinary terms I ve never heard and name check chefs, restaurant critics, etc like a fantasy football junkie trading wide receiver stats He ll remind you he s done his time in the kitchen trenches He rips Alice Waters some famous hippy chef from California, I guess a new asshole for offensive comments about people who say they can t afford organic food but also admit he s glad she exists He ll eviscerate another food critic for taking shots at his friends instead of aiming the crosshairs directly at him then follow with a mash note describing a guy especially talented at cutting fish And he ll admit that bad cooking and lame food shows make him unreasonably angry Some of the targets e.g vegetarians are old Bourdain news, and he writes for people who follow restaurant culture than ever before but I, who doubt I ve ever been to a fine dining restaurant in my life, could follow along pretty well Fans will recognize names and places Ruhlman, Les Halles from the Bourdain factsheet Medium Raw may be a fans only book, really, but the essays embody enough of the Bourdain spirit to make reading fun and worthwhile, like a strong album from a band you really like, rather than an easy money revisiting of slam dunk themes I think Bourdain has finally figured out he s not going to crash and burn anytime soon He s here to stay and with that knowledge can write from an I m here and there s nothing my detractors can do about it so I m going to write about what I want rather than a I m probably going to fail so fuck it, I m writing about what I want perspective That subtle difference is important to Medium Raw Anthony Bourdain is dead Long live Anthony Bourdain.


  3. says:

    I love Anthony Bourdain s wit, and I loved his shows Parts Unknown and no reservations However, I didn t love this book because it felt even disjointed than Kitchen Confidential, a book I enjoyed The book is made up of a series of essays slapped together in no cohesive progression There are funny bits, and because I m a fan, the biographical parts interest me Particularly in light of him taking his own life, reading about his self destructive behavior before he quit abusing drugs many years ago was fascinating He describes living in the Caribbean and driving home drunk every night down curvy, mountain roads, which obviously could have led to his death and others If you haven t read him yet but are considering it, go with Kitchen Confidential For reviews, please visit


  4. says:

    I have mixed feelings about this book On one hand, I really liked parts of it I loved hearing Anthony Bourdain narrate the story, which he did expertly All those years of talking on TV have taught him to how to deliver lines flawlessly, and it shows It s just like listening to him on TV, which made it easy, fun listening I also laughed at some of his stories, really enjoying Tony when he feels his most real and down and dirty However, parts of the story also annoyed me a great deal I live in the NYC area, and though I m not a foodie in any extreme sense, I ve been to many of the high end restaurants in Manhattan and I m familiar with a variety of star chefs Even still, I was clueless about the majority of chefs that Bourdain casually name drops You need to be an insider, or someone who is a Chowhound and foodie news devotee to really get all the references For a book marketed to the general population, it was a little too clubby for my tastes Bourdain is a strange mix of hating snobbery while being really snobby and he knows it He constantly exists in this dichotomy of wanting to be a New York diner cook and being so wealthy and privileged that his wife now ex wife can fly solo at the drop of a hat to eat at Alinea in Chicago just to see why he didn t like it Alinea starts at 200 per person before alcohol, I might add, and that is for the most basic menu.Mixed feelings about this book, but a skilled narration and an, at time, amusing set of stories.


  5. says:

    I have long believed that it is only right and appropriate that before one sleeps with someone, one should be able if called upon to do so to make them a proper omelet in the morning Surely that kind of civility and selflessness would be both good manners and good for the world Perhaps omelet skills should be learned at the same time you learn to fuck Perhaps there should be an unspoken agreement that in the event of loss of virginity, the experienced of the partners should, afterward, make the other an omelet passing along the skill at an important and presumably memorable moment Amen, my love Medium Raw is the best possible title Bourdain could have given this book it was written by a much mellower man than the one who I like to picture furiously scribbled Kitchen Confidential a mature person, who has taken a step back and did a decent amount of soul searching But because Anthony Bourdain is Anthony Bourdain, he serves his introspection like well, not quite a slap in the face, but there s no point in expecting subtlety or sugar coating here.While it is not quite a sequel, it s definitely preferable to have read Kitchen Confidential before you get into Medium Raw , as Bourdain reflects back on who he was when that first book was published and how much things have changed in his life and in the cooking world since You ll lose a lot of context if you are not familiar with the first book, but to be honest, I like this one better They should come as a set.I was planning on keeping this as my bedside book, and to just read a few pages before bed for a few days, but that was underestimating how much I fucking love reading anything Bourdain wrote Once I cracked it open, there was no stopping, or prying the book out of my hands Reading Bourdain is an interesting experience for me because it makes me laugh, it makes me think about things may never have crossed my mind if it hadn t been for his books, and I often find it very moving because he was not afraid to expose himself, flaws and all I can t help but find that combination incredibly sexy Medium Raw is a rant, a confession, a manifesto It s not always pretty, but it s always passionate and unapologetic which is absolutely beautiful It starts with a surreal story about eating ortolans, then hops from topic to topic hitting rock bottom on a Caribbean island, whoring out to the Food Network and dealing with it, why culinary school might be a huge mistake, a statement about why cooking is a life skill literally everyone should master, a rant about the God given right to a hamburger that won t kill you, his own very particular brand of fatherhood, a laundry list of people in the food world he loves and of those he can t stand Every subject is dissected with insight, wit and enthusiasm.I thought I couldn t fall in love with the man any harder after reading A Cook s Tour and binging Parts Unknown on Netflix I was wrong His way with words, the wonderfully twisted workings of his mind, his way of looking at the world and never averting his eye reading this book made me melt Sure, he was a cantankerous, world weary recovered junkie, but I also can t think of another non fiction writer who has the kindness and authenticity he put on the page The rude, cranky thing feels to me like an armor to hide a romantic and idealistic nature that the fucked up world we live in disappointed repeatedly I get it, and this magnificent crazy man will always have a piece of my heart.If you like Bourdain s style, his shows or his other books, don t miss this one Call me a sap, but reading this made me much emotional than I had anticipated My brand spanking new copy is clearly fresh off the press because in the little about the author blurb on the flyleaf, the publisher added the heartbreaking for me, at least line He died in 2018 I confess a moment of true anger at the publishing industry s callous cashing in let s republish his entire body of work, now that he s dead, the sales will skyrocket And here I am feeding the vultures Once I calmed down from this moment of anarchist rage, I was simply grateful for the amazing word porn I held in my hands But a bit of sadness and anger remains mixed in Additional comment regarding the audiobook my husband and I listened to it on the long drive between Rochester and Montr al, and it s amazing, as you could expect as it is read by Bourdain That voice


  6. says:

    Anthony Bourdain I like his show and I like the way he writes He has a no holds barred way of writing about what he thinks Medium Raw is like a string of rants Great material here on how he feels about certain chefs good, bad, new, and seasoned and especially the Food Network I didn t understand his grievance with Food Network since that s where he started, but I get it now He writes a little about his travels and how humbling it is to be fed in some places where there is almost nothing No matter what he thinks about the food he is always grateful and,yes, he would like of what they re serving He mentions Kitchen Confidential throughout and that s where I found him 17 years ago I have a special spot for it on my book shelf It s time for another read.


  7. says:

    An image of Tony Bourdain has been carefully cultivated by publishers, producers and Bourdain himself this punk rock loving, hard drinking, two pack a day sacred cow killing rebel who suffers no fools and and takes no bullshit Look no further than the cover of this book which features Bourdain staring out imperiously while handling the pointiest end of a knife And to a certain extent the image is earned But Medium Raw shatters that image in many ways The standard Bourdain tropes are here Alice Waters is a villain, James Beard society is bullshit, Alan Richman is a cunt He continues to eviscerate carpetbagging parasites who continue to profit off of the food that he holds holy But a much different Bourdain emerges in this book Too much focus is always given to his bad boy image without balancing it out with the sound logic and empathetic reasons he has for giving the people institutions shit Just as an example, yes he calls Alice Waters a villain, but not just to slaughter an eminence grise She has the hubris to suggest Obama appoint her to a special committee to address America s eating habits when she hasn t voted since the seventies And she dreams of an America where everyone is a farmer of some sort But he s also incredibly complimentary of her skill, intellect and social graces A really different Anthony Bourdain comes out here.He s a very sentimental, loving husband and father A good and loyal friend to those who share his passions He s very frank about his limitations as a chef and very humble about the company he s been thrown in with He fully admits that he s out of his league when he gets put on panels with guys like Ripert and Boloud He dances with his daughter in day care And he s very frank and apologetic about the collateral damage he may have done in Kitchen Confidential This is a stand up guy who deserves to be read and treated as than the cardboard tough guy punch out the media has made him out to be The only disappointing thing about the book is the very fact that it follows Kitchen Confidential It s like Weezer following their first album with Pinkerton it was a fine album, but it was all about the travails of being a successful rock star KC was so great at least to people like me who used to work the line because it transported you to the reality of that world Most of what people see of kitchens and chefs is what they see on Top Chef or Chopped You don t see the egos, the tensions and the overall seductive, sybaritic lifestyle that comes with working in the restaurant industry There s not a ton of that here Unless you re already a well known chef who is invited to be a judge on guest panels or you do a lot of international fringe traveling, there s not a ton to identify with here Also there s a seeming hypocrisy afoot The second chapter of the book, Bourdain talks at great length about how he refuses to license his name for his own line of cookware or refuses to let someone just slap his name on a restaurant for the marquee value Yet I received this book as part of a cooking class called Anthony Bourdain s Mastering The Basics at the Sur La Table chain of kitchen stores There s a chapter where he mentions a couple of things that we cooked in the class very briefly But no real recipes The recipes we made seemed pretty sanitized with an occasional ass or shit thrown in to make it sound like his voice So I don t know if this was something done without his knowledge or if he gave up a valued principle.I met Chef Bourdain briefly back in NYC at Siberia Bar A nice, genuine but reserved guy We didn t get to talk a bunch or become best friends But reading this book feels like sitting down and having a great conversation with a guy who s lived an amazing life.


  8. says:

    Medium Raw is a great book for a foodie like me I m a fan of Bourdain s and especially enjoyed listening to the audiobook since he s the narrator Every curse word is uttered with terrific emphasis, and he never pronounces anything related to the restaurant business incorrectly But it s not all about any angry guy telling you about the people who piss him off Bourdain talks about the relationships people have with food today, and what they pass on to their kids More directly, he thinks parents who don t teach kids to cook are doing them a great disservice I couldn t agree Everyone should be encouraged at every turn to develop their own modest yet unique repertoire to find a few dishes they love and practice at preparing them until they are proud of the result To either respect in this way their own past or express through cooking their dreams for the future Every citizen would thus have their own specialty Why can we not do this There is no reason in the world Let us then go forward With vigor Bourdain also is very clearly a citizen of the world, not just New York City or the United States He made me want to go to Hanoi and have Pho there In the meantime, I ll probably go grab a bowl from my friend s noodle shop very soon.He talks about cooks and the career of a chef or cook I especially appreciated the essay about Gustavo, who preps about 700 pounds of fish every day at Le Bernardin in Manhatten Gustavo is from the Dominican Republic, and has an impeccable work ethic Bourdain convinces the boss to let him buy Gustavo a dinner the full tasting menu at Le Bernardin, something normally prohibited That he wanted to do this makes me love Bourdain just a little This is the advice he gives that I wish someone had told me 30 years ago If you re twenty two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel as far and as widely as possible Sleep on floors if you have to Find out how other people live and eat and cook Learn from them wherever you go A fun, food related read


  9. says:

    Oh Tony you have so much to offer pithy observations, thoughtful commentary on a host of subjects and then you devolve into talking shit about almost everyone Sure, that s some of your charm you say it like it is, you snark, you are lovingly curmudgeonly but a few times in reading this book that I just skipped and skipped over few chapters Too much bad jou jou with all the mud slinging You had some great tales to tell island hopping with the old money crazy girl, teaching your daughter about the evils of fast food, Changology, in the kitchen and the dining room with Justo the Dominican and hell, I even read and got something out of your lambasting of vegetarianism although I have to say, you seem to miss the point entirely and you didn t change my mind I eat vegetarian food AND while you may hate my kind, I still have an odd and inexplicable affection towards YOU especially your note to your friend after your harrowing trip to Beirut and I really could have done without the final essay on the roomful of famous chefs eating the threatened species of French bird irresponsible, selfish, and wrong is what it really is but I digress.That being said, I will still watch your show, and read your books and articles I think it is your unique blend of joie de vivre that keeps reeling me in you are so damn passionate about your food and your travels And I get that I am too I just prefer my pho with vegetable broth and veggies We can still agree that it is one of the most amazing foods on earth.Tenuously yours,L


  10. says:

    Excellent continuation of


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Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook download Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, read online Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, kindle ebook Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook 7c5e8620dda4 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 FoodBeginning 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 ManyAnd Always He Returns To The Question Why Cook Or The Difficult Why Cook Well Medium Raw Is The Deliciously Funny And Shockingly Delectable Journey To Those Answers, Sure To Delight Philistines And Gourmands Alike