"You have to love either what you are going to eat, or the person you are cooking for. Then you have to give yourself up to cooking. Cuisine is an act of love."

-ALAIN CHAPEL, Chef (1937-1990)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain

Medium Fucking Raw!

Whether it's the food industry, renowned chefs, food writers, beloved figures of celebrity cooks, Anthony Bourdain is uncontainable as he unleashes wild fury on his targets.  He is one man without shame. 

He is a bad, BAD man. 

Have I mentioned insulting?  Notoriously offensive, he rambles uncensored at the nemesis.  There is this chapter dedicated to Alan Richman that ends with an abrupt period mark “He’s a cunt.”

Even (sigh) Alice Waters, the “Mother of Slow Food”, the proclaimed “Heroes of the Environment” by TIME, this nice sweet gentle lady whose very intention is for us to eat organic food free from herbicides and pesticides, for the betterment of our health, environment and future… Bourdain’s bullet sure didn’t miss her.  She too, got a chapter. 

Yet throughout those nasty bits of a persona, Bourdain comes with softer counterpart.  After declaring Rachel Ray a joke long enough, she sent him a fruit basket.  He soften up admitting, “It's that easy with me now… An unsolicited gesture of kindness and I have a very hard time being mean.”  So he “…stopped saying mean things about her.”

And this is why I, absolutely LOVE Medium Raw.  I laughed out loud and I startled.  I went from being extremely disgusted with the author to immediately forgiving him.  I don’t know any other book that induces that many reactions. 

In the opening chapter The Sit Down, Bourdain divulge of a sacred affair, as utmost secrecy as a Freemason ceremony, that you nor I nor even the President of the United States will ever get the privilege of an invitation, leaving readers with a sense of awe, even envy.    

But beneath that dangerous and sharp exterior, Mr. Bourdain does care.  Somewhere deep inside there is a conscience.  He is truly, deeply concern what goes into the mouth the offspring of America.

“If you are literally serving shit to American children, or knowingly spinning a wheel where it is not unlikely that you will eventually serve shit-if that’s your business model? Then I got no problems with a jury of your peers wiring your nuts to a car battery and feeding you the accumulated sweepings of the bottom of a monkey cage.  In fact, I’ll hold the spoon.”

But alas, to the hopefuls, So You Wanna Be a Chef chapter highlights the highs and lows of the kitchen world.  And in case you’re wondering, yes, food porn is everywhere scattered in this entire book.

As per the chapter Heroes and Villains, Anthony Bourdain is my hero, the missing animus to my wounded psyche.  I came out reading the book… educated.  I want to hangout and buy him a beer.

Go read the book.  Thou shalt be entertained.    

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