PurplyCookie's Reviews > The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones

The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain
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's review
Aug 14, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 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 final work of fiction, the text may disappoint those who've come to expect more honed kitchen insights from the chef.

Bourdain writes as he talks--irreverently, earthly, and determinedly free of euphemism. The reader can almost hear him dragging on his cigarette between sentences. In just a few pages he lays bare the gritty, fill-those-tables economics that govern a restaurant's success without respect to the competence of its cooks. He surveys the current crop of over-publicized chefs in their trendy Las Vegas digs and finds their eateries flourishing if soulless. He fears that celebrity (and vast riches) will undo many potentially great chefs, but exceptions such as Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse confirm his faith in the higher side of his profession.

Be warned though if you take offense easily at vulgarity, don't have a sense of humor or adventure this is not a good book to start with or maybe read at all. Those who are familiar with Chef Bourdain's style of writing and have seen his show "No Reservations" on the Travel Channel will no doubt enjoy this collection.

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Book Details:

Title The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Useable Trim, Scraps, and Bones
Author Anthony Bourdain
Reviewed By Purplycookie
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Reading Progress

August 14, 2010 – Shelved
August 14, 2010 – Shelved as: biography-memoir
August 25, 2010 – Started Reading
August 27, 2010 –
page 95
August 27, 2010 –
page 125
August 28, 2010 –
page 149
August 29, 2010 – Finished Reading

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