A Cook's Tour

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Bloomsbury USA

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Dodging minefields in Cambodia, diving into the icy waters outside a Russian bath, Chef Bourdain travels the world over in search of the ultimate meal. The only thing Anthony Bourdain loves as much as cooking is traveling, and A Cook's Tour is the shotgun marriage of his two greatest passions. Inspired by the question, 'What would be the perfect meal?', Anthony sets out on a quest for his culinary holy grail. Our adventurous chef starts out in Japan, where he eats traditional Fugu, a poisonous blowfish which can be prepared only by specially licensed chefs. He then travels to Cambodia, up the mine-studded road to Pailin into autonomous Khmer Rouge territory and to Phnom Penh's Gun Club, where local fare is served up alongside a menu of available firearms. In Saigon, he's treated to a sustaining meal of live Cobra heart before moving on to savor a snack with the Viet Cong in the Mecong Delta. Further west, Kitchen Confidential fans will recognize the Gironde of Tony's youth, the first stop on his European itinerary. And from France, it's on to Portugal, where an entire village has been fattening a pig for months in anticipation of his arrival. And we're only halfway around the globe... A Cook's Tour recounts, in Bourdain's inimitable style, the adventures and misadventures of America's favorite chef. AUTHORBIO: Anthony Bourdain is the author of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, which spent 14 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list, and the Urban Historical Typhoid Mary. His mystery novels include Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo. He is the executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in New York City.


Anthony Bourdain
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Bloomsbury USA
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Bloomsbury USA
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Bloomsbury USA
Bloomsbury USA
A Cook's Tour

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Having read a review in the London Times of Anthony Bourdains - A Cooks Tour in search of the perfect meal, I was inspired to read what he had to say about my fellow countrymen, between Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay it could be true that they have reputations even more notorious than his...

To me the word tour would suggest a continuous journey around the globe eating at gourmet restaurants in search for that perfect meal, but just as I was getting comfortable with Tony in Vietnam, and enjoying his dining account of some unmentionable item I found myself back in San Sebastien without even turning a page.

However, that aside this book is a great read for chefs and travelers alike. Before embarking on his quest for food, Bourdain sets the scene for each destination - and sets the scene well. It becomes obvious early on of his real love for Vietnam the place, the people and the food.

As ever his style of writing is candid and honest yet respectful to those who create the dishes that he samples. Bourdain is one of a few who can write in the same way that he talks. The initial chapters contain several graphic, shocking accounts which subside as one progresses through the book. I am not sure if this is because he had the good fortune to witness less as time went on, or because he decided to change his literary focus. It is safe to say that Bourdains humor is well weaved into his writing - that is until you get to the piece on vegetarians. Vegetarians are an easy target for ridicule, in this part of the book the non meat eaters are shown no mercy - it is splendid!

As for his account of the British cooking scene. This section is a little thin, with so much going on in my homeland and so many volatile characters to write about, I thought he would have cleaned up. It was somewhat disappointing with the exception of his piece on Fergus Henderson. Henderson is a chef who cooks what Bourdain describes as un-apologetically English food and a man who does battle against the Health Nazis, Vegetarian Taliban (read the book to get the full scoop).

To summarize I would say that the book is well worth reading, it is light, fun and culinary descriptive. Tonys humor shines through and you will never think of a vegetarian the same way again...


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