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Secondly, the book is a long overdue portrait of the real Mario Batali and of the real Marco Pierre White--two complicated and brilliant chefs whose coverage in the press--while appropriately fawning--has never described them in their fully debauched, delightful glory. Buford has--for the first time--managed to explain White's peculiar--almost freakish brilliance--while humanizing a man known for terrorizing cooks, customers (and Batali). As for Mario--he is finally revealed for the Falstaffian, larger than life, mercurial, frighteningly intelligent chef/enterpreneur he really is. No small accomplishment. Other cooks, chefs, butchers, artisans and restaurant lifers are described with similar insight.
Thirdly, Heat reveals a dead-on understanding--rare among non-chef writers--of the pleasures of "making" food; the real human cost, the real requirements and the real adrenelin-rush-inducing pleasures of cranking out hundreds of high quality meals. One is left with a truly unique appreciation of not only what is truly good about food--but as importantly, who cooks--and why. I can't think of another book which takes such an unsparing, uncompromising and ultimately thrilling look at the quest for culinary excellence. Heat brims with fascinating observations on cooking, incredible characters, useful discourse and argument-ending arcania. I read my copy and immediately started reading it again. It's going right in between Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London and Zola's The Belly of Paris on my bookshelf. --Anthony Bourdain
Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Qu
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Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany
Quantity Available: 1
Book Description: Knopf, 2006. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: From one of our most interesting literary figures--16 years as editor of "Granta, 8 years as fiction editor at "The New Yorker, author of "Among the Thugs, the best-selling expose of the world of English soccer hooligans--a sharp, funny, exuberant, close-up book about his headlong plunge into the life of a professional cook-in-training. Expanding on his August 2002 "New Yorker article, Bill Buford now gives us a richly evocative chronicle of his experience as "slave" to Mario Batali in the small, chaotic, highest-standards kitchen of Batali's three-star New York restaurant, Babbo, and of his apprenticeships with Batali's former teachers. In a fast-paced, candid narrative, Buford describes three frenetic years in the kitchen: trials and errors, disappointments and triumphs, as he worked his way up the Babbo ladder to a line cook. his relationship with the larger-than-life Batali, whose story he learns as their friendship grows through (and sometimes despite) kitchen encounters and after-work all-nighters . and his immersion in the art of butchery in Northern Italy, of preparing game in London, and of handmade pasta at an Italian hillside trattoria. "Heat is a marvelous hybrid: a memoir of Buford's kitchen adventure, the story of Batali's amazing rise to culinary (and extra-culinary) fame, a dazzling behind-the-scenes look at a famous restaurant, and an illuminating exploration of why food matters. It is a book to delight in, and to savor. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_1400041201