Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Recent Reads

So I just finished reading Anthony Bourdain's recent installment, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, which reads like a collection of essays about how Bourdain has an amazing life and why he feels guilty or alternatively like a hypocrite to be able to travel to so many amazing places, eat the food that he has the opportunity to eat, and mingle with the worlds top chefs. I felt like he was that girl who is constantly justifying/absolving her horrible behavior by acknowledging "I know I'm a bitch, but at least I admit it." Admitting that you are a pampered jerk who got extremely lucky still makes you one. And while Bourdain is entertaining and still a good writer, he comes up with little bon mots like this:
“Too much respect for your elders is, historically, almost always a bad thing. I want my daughter to love me. I don’t necessarily want her to share my taste for Irish ale or Hawaiian bud.”

it still left me feeling like I was reading some juicy gossip about the American foodie scene (think mostly West Coast & New York City). If you are into going to the most expensive, fascinating, and inventive restaurant this is definitely a book worth reading - but that's quite a small percentage of people. His take down of Alice Waters is pretty nice (a sample here), but here the thing he doesn't go far enough. He demonizes McDonald's but doesn't offer any answers of his own except that he might be part of the problem. So yes, a well written, if a bit self-involved, book that kind of goes nowhere.

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