Anthony Bourdain's new book

Discussion in 'Cookbook Reviews' started by coolj, Jan 9, 2002.

  1. coolj

    coolj

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    I was at Chapters last night, and I picked up a copy of the Rocky Mountain Resort Cook Book, and I noticed on the little flyer the slipped into the bag, that Anthony Bourdain has a new book, which is going to be a feature of the Month. I believe it's called 'A Cook's Tour'. Has anyone had a chance to read this one ?.
     
  2. rachel

    rachel

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    No, I don't want to and I never will. . .Anthony who?? ;)
     
  3. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Greg and I had a little exchange about A Cook's Tour in the other Anthony Bourdain thread on 1/1/02. (Sorry, I don't know how to insert a link to that thread, if there is a way.) We pretty much agreed that the book is enjoyable to read, but a little strange in the way it kind of loops back on itself a couple of times. (Greg, correct me if you disagree.) The book has some interesting content, but really is just an adjunct to the FoodTV series that started airing the night before last. I haven't seen the show, though.
     
  4. greg

    greg

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    I definitely agree with Suzanne on the book. I just saw the first installment of the show, though, and I would have to say the show is an adjunct to the book. I liked the show, but it's much better to read anything than to see a filmed version; fiction or non-fiction. In the book, Bourdain has (and takes) the opportunity to expound upon his experiences in his own unique style and in greater detail than would ever be possible in a 30 minute spot on commercial TV. Having lived in Tokyo myself made it especially painfully obvious. I do have to say, it was nice to put a face and voice to things and people I'd only read about.
     
  5. devotay

    devotay

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    Rachel - It may not be surprising, but I've obviously missed something. Why the open hostility toward Mr. Bourdain?

    As for the TV thing, I suspect that it was merely part publicity stunt and part a crafty way to get someone else to pay for all the travel. We are capitalists 'round here, after all.

    I'm enjoying the book. I find his sense of humor and his detailed descriptions entertaining and informative. What more do you want from such a book? Gospel truth? Forget it.

    Don't know if I'll ever see the show, as I am annoyed by the All-Emeril-All-the-Time facets of FoodTV.

    Peace,
    kmf
     
  6. greg

    greg

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    Kurt, the show is worth it. I think that part of Bourdain's appeal is that although he has achieved a level of fame or noteriety (call it what you will), I don't think he's changed much. It's apparent in the TV show. At least that's my impression; I don't claim to know him personally. I do know that an unsolicited communication sent to him by me was politely received and answered in a matter of hours. Good luck getting that kind of response out of the "bam" man!
     
  7. marmalady

    marmalady

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    A little insight on the recent 'celeb chef' programming on FoodTV. I ran into David Rosengarten at Wegman's a few weeks ago - he was doing a book signing, and I just happened to be there! David had the show Taste, the bomb of a game show on FoodTV, and hosts 'In Food Today'. For those of you who have seen him, he's just as affable in person - I felt like I was chatting with an old friend!

    Anyway, asked him if he had anything new in the works, and told him how much lots of folks missed 'Taste', a truly informative show. He shared that there's a new CEO at FoodTV, who's very much into the celeb chef thing, and that's why we're seeing so many 'glitzy' shows, a la Emeril, The Naked Chef, Anthony Bourdain, etc., and not so many of the truly informative ones.

    Anyone who's interested can email FoodTV and complain.
     
  8. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Dear Kurt,

    I have nothing personally against Tony Bourdain (almost wish I did ;) , he IS pretty hot to look at, even with his s-e-g! :blush: ). Nor do I think he misrepresents the industry -- exagerrates, perhaps, but does not say what is not to some degree true. My disagreement is more with the publisher of A Cook's Tour, who seems to have done a less-than-careful job on pushing out the book. As my avatar suggests, I am a book lover, and that sort of sloppy work really irks me. Since I cannot watch his show, the book is all I have to go on.

    At least Food TV has used his persona in the best one-to-one correspondence. I mean, I love Les Halles, but I wouldn't honestly expect a great COOKING show from its exec chef. From what Marmalady said, it all makes sense.
     
  9. rachel

    rachel

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    Devotay,
    it's not open hostility to Bourdain per se. It's just anti-celebrity chef. I think that are the the new pop stars and he is yet another one and. . .well. . . yawn. . .
    I was going to say that chefs should be like artists (as so many of them on cheftalk show themselves to be) but the Turner prize, one of the most prestigious art prizes in Britain was one by someone (who, incidentally was Scottish - so I'm even criticising a fellow countryman) who's 'instalation' was a white room with a light switched on. maybe chefs are better being popstars. .
    Seriously though, my only long-term experience of living abroad has been in Spain where chefs are treated very differently. When they appear in television it is as respected artisans/artists not pop stars. Food is treated very differently. It is part of a culture and a heritage which should be preserved and improved upon - not something akin to a Britney Spears song.
     
  10. devotay

    devotay

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    So, lemme understand... the publisher rushed the book? Or edited poorly? I'm about halfway through it, and have been enjoying it a lot. So why will you never read it?

    His experience at Arzak reminds me so much of when my wife and I went there... I dunno if ours was a perfect meal, but it certainly was the best one we ever had. (those who read that section - the place he referred to as having "Sea Water Foam appetizers" is el Bulli, just north of Barcelona. It's very nice, though a bit pretentious and over done. Architectural Cuisine can be so contrived.)

    Peace,
    -kmf
     
  11. rachel

    rachel

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    yes Arzak is supposed to be amazing. He was one of the chefs that i was thinking about when i wrote my previous message. His journalistic pieces contained recipes that were, for me - a below average ameteur, nigh on impossible to make, but he was always so well informed and explained his food, the ingredients, their history in such a clear and concise way.
    As for El Bulli, that's Ferran Adria - on a mission from God to change the face of nouvelle cusiine. His restuarant is only open six months of the year and almost none of the kitchen staff get paid to work there (he's a 'genius' so people work for free - it hapens quite a lot in Spain. It's very common with well-known architects). Someone I know who lives quite near there goes when his clients take him- but he always makes sure that he eats before he goes.
     
  12. devotay

    devotay

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    Rachel,

    Right on, I understand. but my wife helped me understand that while Emeril is terribly annoying to you and me, he is doing us a service by bringing a lot of people who would otherwise be eating McDonald's into the world of hand-made food. It's like that terrible wine, White Zinfandel: I can't stand the stuff, but Fetzer White Zin outsells all other wines in the US by miles. If some of those people use there experience with white zin then let a waiter somewhere suggest that perhaps they'd like a riesling or a moscato d'asti, why then the nasty pink wine has done a service.

    Love your home country, by the way. I'm 1/2 Scot (Clan Lamont)

    Peace,
    kmf
     
  13. rachel

    rachel

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    Well that is a very good point. The less McDonald eating, Zinfindel drinkers in the world the better (incidentally i once had peach flavoured zinfindel - if you ever get the opportunity- don't bother. it was a most horrendous experience. Brought back memories of extremely bad cheap German wine drunk during adolescent excesses).
     
  14. zcook

    zcook

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    At the risk of flouting the ACF Culinarian's Code, I would like to add 2 comments to this thread.

    1. Ferran Adria sells smoke and foam to his adoring public. (This is a fact.)

    2. "The emperor has no clothes." ;)

    Buono Appetito!

    :)
     
  15. devotay

    devotay

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    Just to bring us back on topic...

    I believe that anyone who posesses a passion for what they do can be called great at it. If you have a passion for food, you will find Bourdain's book an interesting and entertaining read at the very least. Success breeds scepticism, I know, but please don't write the fella off just because he's actually appealing to a broader range of people now. Is it pop culture minutiae? Perhaps. But why not just enjoy it for what it's worth to you and cast aside anything you find silly or pointless. So what if he's a huge success? There but for the grace of God...;)
     
  16. rachel

    rachel

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    Most of his 'adoring public' are lawyers taken there by their clients to impress their lawyers, or important Catalan politicians taking whoever there (probably a French whoever) paid for on expense accounts - expense accounts paid for by what used to be me! And i couldn't afford to try it!!:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
     
  17. rachel

    rachel

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    P.S. Welcome to cheftalk zcook. I've not seen you before.
     
  18. marzoli

    marzoli

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    I have to say that so far, I've enjoyed Cook's Tour on tv--been saving the book to read after the show finishes up--definitely wouldn't want to eat some of the things Bourdain eats on that show, but it's fun to watch.
    I agree with those who think some of the celeb chefs are tiresome with their acts. But I sure have learned a lot by watching them--even if Emeril does go "kick it up" and "bam" a lot.
    My perspective is probably different because I know almost nothing and want to learn almost everything (except seafood--my husband will have nothing to do with seafood). Since I won't be going to a cooking school in this lifetime, the food network is really good for me.
    One of my students watches the food channel every day. She doesn't plan a food career, but she is really into cooking. That's sort of cool.