A good friend of mine told me she was reading, MEDIUM RAW, by Anthony Bourdain. She was raving about it. I read his KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL many years ago when it was fresh. I was drawn to it since I spent a good part of my young adult life in the restaurant business. What he said was oh-so-true. I could relate to the shenanigans the cooks and chefs were up to. The service staff was really quite aptly portrayed. This guy hit the nail on the head when it comes to the restaurant business. So, I was wondering what ole Anthony has been up to lately.
Bourdain has grown up. He’s gotten married for the second time and become a parent. His life has changed, and for the better, to say the least. Now, his language has not changed. No sirree. But it’s part of who he is. And it works for him.
The first chapter of the book begins with a sordid description of a mystery dining experience amid a dozen of his peers. I have to tell you that I almost put the book down. But, I’m happy to say it was up hill all the way after this unusual introduction. Leave it to Bourdain to get right in your face.
Anthony Bourdain is a champion among food writers. He makes the world come alive with his writing. I think my favorite story was in Viet Nam. He had me on the back of one of those little scooters, flying around the back alleys of Hanoi, like a native. When the time came to hop off the bike and park, I was all over it. I still feel, almost, like I ate on the street; enjoyed that flavorful noodle dish. So much so that I am now actively on a mission to find the perfect Pho soup. It’s a noodle soup of Hanoi. It sounded so good, I almost smelled it.
As I read about telling experiences with other food writers and critics, fellow chefs and food personnel, I began to see a pattern to Bourdain’s writing this time. You tend to change when you have children. It is usually for the good. You mellow out. You begin to care about someone other than yourself. And you start to see the world around you in another light. You begin to be protective of those you love. The bad boy is still there, but he is no longer rotten to the core.
Thank you Anthony Bourdain, for a very entertaining and enlightening book. And thanks for the food.