As Good as a Tasting Menu

MEDIUM RAW by Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain’s recent “bloody valentine to the world of food and people who cook” is a treat of a read regardless of your [lack of] knowledge on the subject matter.  MEDIUM RAW is essentially a collection of essays ranging in topic from Bourdain’s personal evolution, commentary on the contemporary food scene to just plain mouth-watering food writing.  While the US Weekly reader in me loved the behind-the-scenes factoids and gossip of the celebrity chef-focused chapters, the best essays were those that focused on Bourdain’s passion for traveling and the procuring of knowledge about different cultures via food and drink.  It was high entertainment to experience the way of life in present day Vietnam, the over-privileged snobbery of St. Barth in the Caribbean and New York’s restaurant scene through the writing of the adroit enthusiast Anthony Bourdain.

Probably the best element of MEDIUM RAW is Bourdain’s unmistakable style.  The writing is at some times terse and others loquacious, peppered with profanity without coming off as vulgar, and always clever.  Any cook, foodie or person on the street with a remote interest in the rest of the world will really enjoy this book.

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