Thoughts: Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain

10th January 2013

Via Goodreads

Via Goodreads

I am not a foodie. I am the exact opposite of a foodie. I don’t plan out restaurants when I travel. I love food; however, I’m one of the pickiest eaters you’ll meet. But I love love love Anthony Bourdain and his show No Reservations. I guess because, unlike some foodies, he genuinely seems to enjoy what he eats – without reservation.

Medium Raw is just what you’d expect from Bourdain: a series of rants, raves, and love notes to the food, its industry, and its people, and I loved every second of it. The essays range from his thoughts on the unexpected success of Kitchen Confidential, to his storied past and his more domestic present.

Most of the time I was out of the loop when Bourdain discusses famous chefs, restaurants, and meals, but I never once felt patronized or excluded. Bourdain loves food in the way I love books, talking about certain dishes as transcendent, and damn, even if it included some random thing I would never eat, I was tempted as I flipped the pages.

Obscene in the best of ways, heartfelt, and yes, raw, Bourdain’s writing is a treat to read, and if you are at all interested in the man or what he loves, you will absolutely want to own a copy of this one.

Add this to your Goodreads shelf.

P.S. And thanks to Cassandra at Indie Reader Houston. Two years ago at BEA, she went to Bourdain’s signing at Union Square and bought me my own signed copy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • heidenkind

    I heard Bourdain writes basically just like he talks, which sounds kind of fun.

    • It really is.

  • You know I love food (the weirder the better!) but I was lukewarm on Bourdain’s first book, and am ambivalent about the man himself. I used to find him SUPER obnoxious and find early episodes of NR practically unwatchable, but I think he’s mellowed a bit with time and is easier to deal with now. I’m sure I’ll pick this one up at some point, but I don’t know if I’ll love it as much as you did!

  • Charlie

    Not being excluded is so awesome in non-fiction where the author could just as easily made it exclusive. I’ve not heard of Bourdain but it sounds a really good book with a great approach.

    • Charlie – Look him up if you get a chance. He’s pretty rough around the edges, but he’s great.

  • bybee

    I have this book on my TBR!

    • Read it! Read it!

  • I was remarking to my husband the other night when The Layover was on TV that the only person I enjoy watching eat is Anthony Bourdain. I liked Kitchen Confidential, so I will definitely have to add this to my TBR, as well.

    • So true. Otherwise, I’d rather be eating, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Tony is awesome. No Reservations is no more but The Layover is very similar. I’ve been enjoying it and I guess he is on some food reality show too, now. I love him!

    • Oh wow! I don’t have cable, so I never know what’s current or not. I love watching No Reservations.

  • This one’s on my TBR too – it sounds like a fun read. I just love Bourdain’s style.

    • I do too! He’s fantastic.

  • Wow! He gotten a lot older since I read Kitchen Confidential. I don’t watch him on TV so I guess I was thinking of him as younger. Thanks for the review. I enjoyed Kitchen Confidential, but somehow people’s memoirs are never as interesting after they’ve reformed!

    • Reformed, yes, but his personality seems to be much the same. I really need to read Kitchen Confidential.

  • Kelly TheWellReadRedhead

    I adore all of Bourdain’s books! Even more so because I’m a foodie ๐Ÿ˜‰ He’s hilarious, and his passion for food is enviable.

    • Well, that’s just about everyone’s take (on his writing), so I’m definitely ready to read some more of his writing.

  • alexia561

    Kitchen Confidential was one of the few non-fiction books I actually enjoyed, so glad to hear that this one is just as good! Love his passion!

    • Same here! It’s definitely contagious. If you enjoyed Kitchen Confidential, I think you’d like this one as well.

  • Yay! I loved Tony first because of No Reservations. Then I read Kitchen Confidential and A Cook’s Tour and fell even deeper. Definitely try A Cook’s Tour if you appreciate NR. He has such a wonderful reverence for international cultures. I haven’t read this one yet, but I most certainly will. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Awesome! I hadn’t heard of A Cook’s Tour, but yes, I love his reverence, especially in light of his irreverence of most else.