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Aug 30, 2010 08:01 AM

Anybody read Anthony Bourdain's book "Medium Raw"?

Im currently reading this book and alot of the things Bourdain says intrigues me and I wanna know if anyone else has thoughts on this book. The way he writes about the audacity people have in cooking where they completely "f*** over" customers is just ridiculous but true. I have realized in my own career that its all about working the people and making your self, your restaurant, your food look like its something that everyone needs to try wether they need to fight for it or not. I think that Anthony Bourdain has a very realistic view on the culinary world and how people will do whatever they can to get somewhere in this world. If you have any opinions please post on this because I wanna know what other people think about the culinary world and what they think about the book.

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  1. Here's a discussion of it from earlier this summer:

    1. I enjoyed the book, although not nearly as much as "kitchen Confidential". I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I were involved in the restaurant business, especiall in NY, as he makes a lot of references to chefs and people who I have no idea who they are. But he is a fine writer.

      1. I listened to it on audiobook and it was read by Bourdain himself. I felt like that was a really good way to experience it and I was really interested in a lot of his thoughts and ideas. I especially liked the chapter where he tried to turn his two-year old daughter off of McDonalds. I felt there were an overwhelming amount of refernces to Kitchen Confidential though, and I was pretty sick of hearing about that after a while...

        1 Reply
        1. re: sarahctaillon

          Having been an owner in the biz; A.B and his take on the customer is quite accurate, if not only anecdotal.
          The staff of a functioning, well managed operation can size up the "Big Fish" faster than you can ruin an order of foie gras.; and play to "Mr. Alpha's ego, build the check, and relieve the diner/host dog of many of his/her easy come easy go $$$$$$. That is the way the game is played.

        2. I'm a little late to the party but am reading it now. Anthony just totally cracks me up and I absolutely loved and agreed with his meat chapter. It reminded me of the time a few coworkers chided me for ordering a burger medium rare because of the possibilities of getting sick. Not only did I not get sick but i know my burger was more delicious than theirs.

          It's a bit of a departure... and it should be, from Kitchen Confidential. Still every bit as entertaining so far.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sandwich_Sister

            Own it, read it, loved it - as well as all of his other books. Didn't care much for his fiction, but his nonfiction is well-written, very descriptive, & reeks of realism. Of course I also enjoy 98% of his television shows as well.

          2. Love Bourdain, bought all his previous books - even the out-of-print fiction. But I was saddened by Medium Raw. The guy has it all now and yet he's just angry all the time. Nonetheless, I was glad I read the book. His perspective as an insider is fascinating.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Just Visiting

              I'm not sure that he's angry so much as he's becoming more & more jaded.

              1. re: Breezychow

                I agree and this reminds me of a conversation I had about punk music a while back.

                If a punk band becomes popular they end up making a lot of money and thus don't have a lot less struggles and jaded songs to write about.

                In fact they can't just continue to write the same songs they once did on their first album they must evolve and I think Tony is doing that wonderfully.

                He can't write about the struggles of drug addiction, trying to live off little cash, sex, hookers and blow. He's in his 50's now has a wife and child and a good paying job.

                What he can do is go off and rant about the things that are wrong with his industry ( Food and media) What needs to be fixed, what that money has been able to afford him, etc.