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The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,741 Ratings  ·  695 Reviews
The good, the bad, and the ugly, served up Bourdain-style.

Bestselling chef and No Reservations host Anthony Bourdain has never been one to pull punches. In The Nasty Bits, he serves up a well-seasoned hellbroth of candid, often outrageous stories from his worldwide misadventures. Whether scrounging for eel in the backstreets of Hanoi, revealing what you didn't want to kno
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 16th 2006 by Bloomsbury USA (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mike
Jan 06, 2008 Mike rated it liked it
Sitting home on a Saturday night reading a book has become a rather preferable way for me to spend my time lately. Perhaps I’m just getting old. So this Saturday it has come to pass that I finished the book I was reading. I just closed the back cover on “The Nasty Bits” by Anthony Bourdain. You all know who Bourdain is from his show “No Reservations” on the Travel Channel or his autobiographical “Kitchen Confidential” that I reviewed in an earlier blog. Bourdain is kind of like the punk rocker ...more
Books Ring Mah Bell
Feb 12, 2010 Books Ring Mah Bell rated it liked it
Bourdain. Cranky, cynical, sexy, sarcastic, lover of pork. I love the way the man uses words, I really do.
The Nasty Bits treats the reader to a delectable collection of Bourdain's non-fiction.

The book is broken down into flavors: Salty, Sweet, Bitter, Sour... each story under those headings manages to leave you with that taste in your mouth. At least, I think that's from the story.
*spits*

No one does bitter and sour better than Bourdain, which is why I love his show. In the "Bitter" part of the
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Tom Franklin
Dec 02, 2011 Tom Franklin rated it it was ok
I'm a big fan of Bourdain's KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL and A COOK'S TOUR. In those books, Bourdain mixed his signature egomaniac writing with knife-sharp insights into his flaws as a human being, chef and foodie, not to mention humor. There was a sense of purpose to those books. He was telling a story that gave his writing a much-needed structure.

THE NASTY BITS is a collection of articles and various writings that have been taken out of context and thrown together into a book. Anecdotes and/or observa
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Jae
Jun 24, 2007 Jae rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Oh, ugh. At least I got this for free. A series of "essays" by Bourdain, many recycled from various magazines where he'd published them. Actually, I started to be grateful for those, because some of those were at least readable. I liked his previous book Kitchen Confidential a lot, although I thought that his portrayal of chefs as heroes engaged in a noble war perhaps only slightly less difficult and dangerous than being in Iraq was perhaps slightly overblown. I liked the way he wrote about food ...more
Steve
Jan 18, 2015 Steve rated it liked it
I've recently been on a Bourdain binge; devouring hour after hour of his show on dvd, reading his works, both fiction and non-fiction, and coming to realize that, like so many craftsmen, it gets a bit repetitive after a while. That's not a bad thing, but it's a truism just the same. My favorite band of all time is The Rolling Stones, after all, and if anything is somewhat predictable, it is my beloved Stones. And so it is with The Nasty Bits, a heaping plate of older writings from magazines, etc ...more
Lil' Grogan
Collection of articles written through the years: mainly opinion pieces and travelogues, with one fiction short story. Should say I've only seen his show once and stumbled across Bobby Gold years ago, so didn't really know much about Bourdain before this. Found his writing an interesting mix of the arrogant and self-deprecating, posturing and honest. It was also better than I remembered it being. Found the commentaries at the back of the book funny since they offer a more balanced view as he ref ...more
Anne
Sep 02, 2007 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of essays directly and tangentially related to Bourdain's exploits as the chef of a fabulous restaurant in New York, and his travels around the world eating at Michelin rated venues and off-the-beaten path jewels. Bourdain's relentless rantings are often hilarious, sometimes exhausting, but always (in my opinion) entertaining. I loved his first book Kitchen Confidential, though I've never seen his television show on the Travel Network called No Reservations. I can see people ...more
Craig
Jul 09, 2008 Craig rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
If you’ve ever seen him on TV, read one of his seven books, or eaten at his restaurant, you know that he really loves food. At least as much as me. Maybe even more?

In fact, the guy is a little bit nuts. And probably not particularly nice. But, he is clearly in touch with his passion and I love him for that.

I just finished his latest book, “The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones,” which is a collection of short stories, published and unpublished essays, diatribe
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Michael
May 29, 2007 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up on my last book run because I enjoyed Kitchen Confidential quite a bit. I realized that it was a blatant cash-grab by the publishing company the old "collected writings" gambit, but thought I would give it a shot.

The verdict. Meh. I chuckled a few times ("The Dive" is cute, as is his impassioned plea for latino kitchen workers, and his review of the Residensea yacht/condo) but the rest of it is thinly veiled KC rehash or boring 1-2 page magazine articles that don't do well out
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Allison
Bourdain is at his best when he's writing about food, travel, or any combination of the two. Most of the essays in this book covered these topics, but I wasn't all that into the ones that strayed from them. Some of them were also so over the top as to induce eye-rolling at how superior and/or cool he thinks he is. I enjoyed the commentary in the back of the book, though, where he makes a note about each essay and how he feels about it in hindsight. Even he admitted to rolling his eyes at some of ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Apr 24, 2007 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read07, foodie
The latest from my favorite sarcastic chef/travel show host/writer, this is a bunch of essays and one short story about food, chefs, murder, and travel. Much of it was slightly redundant since I watch his show Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations but I enjoyed the essays about Manhattan and Las Vegas, why he doesn't actually hate Emeril, and the relationship between food and music. It's books like these that really make me feel like even though I left the life of the cook, I still feel like I have ...more
Aaron
Feb 14, 2016 Aaron rated it it was ok
Anthony Bourdain: An Alternate History

If you can catch a dentist in a quiet, reflective moment over a drink, and ask what the worst aspects of the job are, you will probably get the following answer: “The pressure, the fast pace, the isolation from normal society, the long hours, the pain, the relentless, never ending demands of the profession.” If you wait awhile, maybe two more drinks, and ask again - this time inquiring about the best parts of being a dentist - more often than not, the dentis
...more
Judith
Jul 09, 2008 Judith rated it liked it
Like a beloved grandfather, this book tells the same stories/anecdotes over and over.
Laura
Nov 13, 2011 Laura rated it liked it
A misc hodge-podge of pieces that were published elsewhere, or not published at all. The range here is pretty broad - some of the pieces just evoke an experience, or a taste - they seem a little incomplete. But some are brilliant, funny travelogues, filled with restaurant recos and behind-the-scenes info for people who love food. If you're a fan of his non-fiction, it's definitely worth checking out - not as well-edited as Kitchen Confidential and not as Dishy as 'Medium Raw' (or as cohesive as ...more
K2 -----
Nov 27, 2010 K2 ----- rated it liked it
I was in a used bookshop looking to buy "Kitchen Confidential" for a friend's son who wants to be a chef and I stumbled upon this and bought it mistaking it for his newest book. Indeed it is a collection of useable trim, scraps and bones like the title states.

I have several middle-aged women friends who are just ga-ga over Bourdain---it makes me laugh. I have rarely seen his show as I'd rather read than watch TV, but I find him to be a good if gritty writer. He is a hard living egotistical sexi
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Bookworm Smith
Aug 26, 2014 Bookworm Smith rated it really liked it
Bits. That is what this book is made of - Bits. Not entrails or chicken toes. Not those kind of bits. Just bits of writing. A short account of eating a seal. A page or two on where Chefs and other kitchen staff drink after hours. A few paragraphs about other books by cooks. A rather short travel log about cooking on a cruise ship. Just bits like that.

I did not find this collection much different than Kitchen Confidential or Medium Raw. Yes, Kitchen Confidential had a storyline, but, it was mostl
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okyrhoe
Jul 27, 2009 okyrhoe rated it liked it
Shelves: food, bookcrossing
Anthony Bourdain is always a pleasant read. Even though this book is, by his own admission, a haphazard collection of "varietal cuts, usable trim, scraps and bones" it's his force of character which comes through in the end - a man passionate about the pleasures of life - besides the culinary arts - & always willing to express his gut responses and his opinions in a brash, yet oftentimes sensitive, manner.
Because Bourdain does sincerely believe in a strong work ethic, in a dedication to doi
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PurplyCookie
Aug 29, 2010 PurplyCookie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography-memoir
Bourdain, like the fine chef he is, pulls together an entertaining feast from the detritus of his years of cooking and traveling. Arranged around the basic tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami (a Japanese term for a taste the defies description), this scattershot collection of anecdotes puts Bourdain's brave palate, notorious sense of adventure and fine writing on display.

From the horrifying opening passages, where he joins an Arctic family in devouring a freshly slaughtered seal, to a
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Ken
Jun 13, 2007 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anthony Bourdain would not like me. I'm a Billy Joel-listening vegetarian. He expresses deep disdain for vegetarians (and for Billy Joel!). Were Bourdain and I to visit a restaurant together, he'd roll his eyes in disbelief at how I choose to miss out on the dining experiences he describes in beautiful detail.

Maybe it's living vicariously, then, or perhaps it's a streak of masochism in my personality, but I love reading Bourdain's stuff. Read Kitchen Confidential first. Get to know Bourdain th
...more
Lanea
Jan 28, 2009 Lanea rated it really liked it
I'm on a bit of a non-fiction spree here. And frankly, it's because of my strange book-shelving system. There are the to-be-read- shelves and the read-shelves. The read shelves are further divided and organized, and the non-fiction section has more empty space. Crazy way to pick what to read, but whatever. I have a lot of homework to do, you know, and I'm doing it. And, pat me on the back here: I've made it over a month without buying books.

Right. Bourdain. Love him. I love his taste in music,
...more
David
Aug 21, 2007 David rated it really liked it
In this rather far-reaching collection of articles Bourdain has had published, mostly in magazines, nary a topic is taboo. He lashes out at obese people, rude diners, legislation against foie gras...even Woody Harrelson.

But on the other side of that coin, we get to see a different version of Tony Bourdain, that is to say someone other than the highly opinionated and routinely snarky persona he usually portrays. He provides ample evidence not only that he is a good writer, but a chef who truly en
...more
Cole
Sep 24, 2007 Cole rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Foodies, anyone interested in behind-the-scenes of the cooking industry and travel/cuisine shows
I had read Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential some time ago and really enjoyed his passion for cooking as well as his pulling back the covers to have a look at the seedy side of the industry. Although I really enjoy cooking for people I care about and have fun entertaining guests, this book helped to reaffirm my gut feeling years ago that having to cook for a living wouldn't be the right path for me...

Anyway, I was happy to see Nasty Bits on the shelf. The title implied to me that this would be a b
...more
Bookshop
Jul 29, 2007 Bookshop rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was not going to write my own review after commenting on Tita's review on the same subject. But my big mouth wouldn't let me as it has not had its fair share of yapping. So here it is.

I started reading with feeling of boredom. The bad boy is here again, rambling on about how chefs are like. Didn't he do that already in Kitchen Confidential? However, his poking and prodding on each chosen topics are so ruthlessly albeit comically done that I had to swallow my grudge and read on.

I could eventual
...more
Tita
Jul 30, 2007 Tita rated it really liked it
I've never watched any of his TV shows (save a glimpse of an interview clip on the Internet), nor read any of his books other than Confidential Kitchen. My impressons after reading Confidential Kitchen? An interesting read, no-nonsense contents, very bold and with a choice of spicy expressions. Needles to say, his writing loudly describes his personality; a typical "Bourdain" style. Having enjoyed reading that book, I eagerly took The Nasty Bits off its shelf at Waterstone's not so long ago and ...more
Kate Dixon
Jan 02, 2008 Kate Dixon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: foodies, cooks, and writers
As a writer and a person who loves to cook, I found this collection of essays wonderful. Sure, it didn't have the flow to it that Kitchen Confidential did, but these are essays, written at different points of his career for very different publications (and he explains the context of each piece in the back of the book). I think one measure of a good writer in the newspaper and magazine medium is being able to adapt your writing to the audience. And I believe he does this very well. Sure, the Fear ...more
Ensiform
Jan 18, 2014 Ensiform rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, travel, food
Just what it says on the cover, a collection of previously published pieces of food, chefs, travel, and cultural commentary (plus one fiction piece). I’m a Bourdain fan, but most of these essays are simply too short to have any real impact. That’s not to say they’re not bad; they have his trademark snide remarks, the New York swagger tempered by open-minded desire to learn more about others. In a magazine I’m sure they’re fine. But, for example, a mere three printed pages on Bourdain’s first tas ...more
Michael Giuliano
Aug 03, 2015 Michael Giuliano rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
My first real exposure to Bourdain (other than a few episodes of No Reservations and his Get Jiro! graphic novel) and it was better than expected. The Nasty Bits is an anthology of sorts, collecting articles Bourdain has written since the release of his first book, Kitchen Confidential (which I just grabbed). The book is cleverly split into five sections ("Sweet," "Sour," "Salty," "Bitter," and "Umami") which reflect the tone of the short stories collected within. Bourdain's writing is as no-h ...more
Fayette
Feb 22, 2014 Fayette rated it liked it
This book is a collection of essays and articles which Bourdain has written over a period of time. This means each chapter more or less stands on it's own and you can put it down and pick it up without losing any momentum. I preferred my first exposure to Bourdain, which was Kitchen Confidential. After that I faithfully watched his TV shows whenever I could find them on Netflix. His snarky bad boy image is entertaining, once I get past the fact that he is often making fun of people like me. Hey, ...more
Mia
Dec 26, 2007 Mia rated it liked it
Three of my loves--food, travel, and New York City--served up Bourdain-style. That is, arrogant, irreverent, brutally frank, but often hard to disagree with (or at least in my opinion). This is a compilation of articles that takes us to the "underworld" of restaurant kitchens from a chef's point of view, as well as across the globe to experience authentic, ethnic fare with the locals. Although I'm a fan of No Reservations, this is my first entry point to Bourdain's writing. I've heard that Kitch ...more
Glenn
Aug 21, 2007 Glenn rated it really liked it
Like "A Cook's Tour," this book is best when describing food television behind the scenes. I read the book, then watched the scenes described on my "No Reservations" DVD's. Bourdain's philosophy on cooking isn't spelled out as well in this book as in his seminal "Kitchen Confidential," but his views on most all other topics become abundantly clear, such as his dislike for "celebrity chefs" (although he finally does deign to not insult Emeril).
Interestingly enough, I misplaced this book while at
...more
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Anthony Bourdain is the author of the novels Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo, in addition to the megabestsellers Kitchen Confidential and A Cook’s Tour.
His work has appeared in the New York Times and the New Yorker, and he is a contributing authority for Food Arts magazine. He is the host of the popular Emmy and Peabody Award winning television show Parts Unknown.
More about Anthony Bourdain...

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“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life - and travel - leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks - on your body or on your heart - are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.” 209 likes
“It’s an irritating reality that many places and events defy description. Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, for instance, seem to demand silence, like a love affair you can never talk about. For a while after,you fumble for words, trying vainly to assemble a private narrative, an explanation, a comfortable way to frame where you’ve been and whats happened. In the end, you’re just happy you were there- with your eyes open- and lived to see it.” 24 likes
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