Mar 07, 08
Read in March, 2008
Halfway through this book I remembered I don't have the slightest bit of interest in the culinary arts whatsoever. Luckily, I was listening to it on audiotape. Unluckily, cassette 4 broke and I had to read the rest with my eyes. I'm not sure why I picked this up, I guess because I heard Bourdain was the "punk rock chef," but besides listening to the Sex Pistols and Velvet Underground while he cooked, there's not a whole lot else going on of a punk rock nature. He was a drug addict, but the book kind of skips right over that, which would have been interesting; I'd rather it had been more of a total autobiography than just a chronicle of his history of the restaurant biz, but once again, it's my fault because that's clearly what the book is labeled as. I wanted dirty stories from the seedy underbelly of the high-class dining world, but it didn't really get much wilder than a bunch of cooks making racist, sexist, homophobic jokes. Dude, that's not exclusive to the culinary world, that's pretty much behind the scenes at any workplace, or really any time you get a lot of misplaced testosterone in one room. You're not leading a "pirate crew," you're supervising people who are following recipes. I rented a dvd from his show "No Reservations" and was again surprised at myself for forgetting I don't really care about exotic foods, and that's a traveling show, which I'm also not into. So now I'm watching like 3 hours of a guy I don't like, eating shit I don't care about, in places I'm not interested in going to. It should be noted that I do like Rachel Ray's "Tasty Travels," but that's another story I don't want to get into. The only really funny anecdote I found was when he was in an interview for chef at a new steakhouse in New York, things were going smoothly until the owner asked him, "What do you know about me?" Bourdain thought it over, not sure what he should say, so he said the truth, "Nothing." So then the guy gives him a weird look, and the interview ends with Bourdain knowing he's not getting the job. He walks a few blocks down the street before he realizes the guy actually asked, "What do you know about MEAT."