Skip to main content

Food, Foodie Gossip, and a Generous Helping of Snark #FoodieReads

After having just re-read Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain*, I decided to read one of his books that I hadn't read before - Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook by Anthony Bourdain*. I've had it on my shelf for years, but never picked it up till now.


And I'll preface this post with a comment: this book did not inspire me into the kitchen. So, I won't be sharing a recipe here. He did, however, serve up a generous helping of snark. 

I found this book much angrier and filled with contempt. In fact, he has a chapter entitled "Heroes and Villains"...and one called "Alan Richman is a Douchebag." I found some of it interesting, but it doesn't follow a storyline at all. It's just a series of musings on food, foodie gossip, and what he loves and hates in the food industry. Honestly, it felt like disjointed rants that he just wanted to get out of his brain and on to paper. And it's rife with name-dropping punctuated with mud-slinging. So...

Heroes: "Fergus Henderson is a hero. In the best heroic tradition, he'd be mortified to hear this. He's English, for one - and painfully modest about all the adulation. ...I've shamelessly baked in his reflected glory at every opportunity. I am a supporter, an acolyte, a devotee, an advocate for all things Henderson. I am a True Believer" (pp. 143-44). Wylie Dufresne and Grant Achatz rate as heroes in his book, too.

Villains: "Brooke Johnson, the head honcho at Food Network, is a villain. That's an easy one. But she's a villain for being right - not for the cynical, fake-ass, soul-destroying, lowest-common-denominator shit-shows she's nurtured and supported since taking the helm. ...On her watch, the network's audience has exploded. ...And for that, and the fact that she couldn't and probably shouldn't give a shit whether she's a villain or not - she's a villain" (pp. 150-51). Alain Ducasse and the James Beard House rank as villains.

He details what he labels as Alice Waters' hypocrisy and he says, "What  makes Alice Waters such a compelling character is her infectious enthusiasm for pleasure. She's made lust, greed, hunger, self-gratification, and fetishism look good. When Alice shows you a bunch of radishes, you fucking want them. Where have those radishes been all my life? I need them!" (pg. 140).

Despite what I would consider excessive and unnecessary profanity in this Bourdain book, he certainly has a way with words. So, I'll keep reading his books...and regretting that the man who wrote the words is no more because I have a sense he had more to say.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

Here's what everyone else read in July 2018: here.

Comments

  1. Oh, Bourdain. He was so inspiring to so many people, and suicide is such a terrible way to go. Have you read his cookbook "Appetites" yet? I finished it just a couple of days before he passed, and definitely recommend it -- less snarky than "Medium Raw" for sure but still that unmistakable voice. He writes a little bit about his daughter in it, too, and it's easy to tell how much he loved her.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't read any of his books but they are on my list.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

#comfortfood: Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco with Bean Ragout

As one of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day Ambassadors ( I'm the Monterey #FRD2014 rep! ) I will be sent a copy of his latest cookbook - to cook from and write about. I can't wait. I do have to laugh though, because its title is  Comfort Food . And, according to a good friend:  I only make uncomfortable food . Oh, well. I can learn! To celebrate launch day - today - I'm sharing one of the recipes. Here's Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco alla Milanese recipe from his new cookbook, Comfort Food. And here's my adaptation. I typically don't eat veal, so I went to our local butcher for some lamb shanks sliced into an osso buco-style cut; but they had just sold their last shanks. Darn. But then I noticed the "never tethered...free to roam" on the veal package and decided to go for it. I added in shelling beans to make a ragout and served it over wild rice instead of risotto. Also, I used lots of different herbs in my gremolata instead of just pa