Judy's Reviews > Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain
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's review
Feb 08, 12

Read in February, 2012

My sister-in-law, who is a chef, recommended that I read Kitchen Confidential years ago--parimarily because she kept laughing out loud while she was reading and I wanted in on the fun. Read it. Loved it. It's now ten years after the publication of Kitchen Confidential and Anthony Bourdain admits that lots of changes have come to the food industry in America. Medium Raw is a look at these changes delivered in Boudain's own ranting, confrontational, and confessional manner. In doing so, he deals with his charge that the Food Network is food porn, puts the spotlight on such chefs as David Chang and Alice Waters (whom he suspects isn't a chef) and many other well-known American personalities in the food industry. Some of his comments are just short of savage--for example, he calls the Food Network's Sandra Lee "the Hell Spawn of Betty Crocker and Kathie Lee). But he also praises chefs like Thomas Keller, Marco Pierre White, and Mario Batali. Boudain apologizes for remarks that he has made over the years about celeberity chefs like Emeril Lagasse and Bobby Flay and admits that he never really understood the pressures that they worked under to maintain their positions in the wold of food. But, true to form, he continues to rant about Alan Richman. My favorite part of the book was his homage to Justo Thomas who has spent more than a decade filleting and preparing the fish portions for Le Bernardin in New York City. I've eaten in that restaurant and it's wonderful to have caught a glimpse of the genius behind the fillet knife. I listened to this book in audio and that made the experience all the better because Anthony Bourdain read as if the reader was sitting across a table in an upscale restaurant listening to thoughts and reflections as they naturally occur in a conversation over a good meal.
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