Other Bourdain Books

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Manton, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Has anyone read the Bourdain books published after Kitchen Confidential? Should I bother with them? I have never really been tempted but now I wonder.

    Also, if anyone knows of good books about being/becoming a chef, plz mention. I have read all of Ruhlman, Heat, Achatz, etc., i.e., all the obvious ones but probably have missed some.

    thx
     
  2. edinatlanta

    edinatlanta Senior member

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    The last Bourdain book kinda sucked I read. Haven't heard anything about the new one though.
     
  3. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    I cannot stand Bourdain at all most of the time, but for some reason I find his writing tolerable. Anyway, his books released after KC are fine, but they aren't as good as KC.
     
  4. KJT

    KJT Senior member

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    I've read several that were given to me as gifts and they're just ok. It's like a band that spends years and years rewiring their first album until every track is good enough to be a hit when it's released. When they are pressured to put out an album each year after that on a schedule, there is an inevitable drop off in quality.
    I'm not saying kitchen confidential is the best book ever, but I think he put everything he had into it.
     
  5. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I've read several that were given to me as gifts and they're just ok. It's like a band that spends years and years rewiring their first album until every track is good enough to be a hit when it's released. When they are pressured to put out an album each year after that on a schedule, there is an inevitable drop off in quality.
    I'm not saying kitchen confidential is the best book ever, but I think he put everything he had into it.


    I have not read the others, obviously, but that is the strong impression that I get from KC. Very fun to read, though looking onlne it seems that people who know or claim to know say that a lot of what he says is BS.
     
  6. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    I don't know about his level of BS, but in my experience the opinion of people on the internet is pretty full of BS.

    I have a number of his others and enjoyed them for what they are. I'll bring them in for you, I think there are some chapters that you'd enjoy.
     
  7. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I don't know about his level of BS, but in my experience the opinion of people on the internet is pretty full of BS.

    I have a number of his others and enjoyed them for what they are. I'll bring them in for you, I think there are some chapters that you'd enjoy.


    What I mean is, there are people who say "I worked at X place in Y year and I was there when what AB describes as Z happened and he made it up/embellished/exaggerated."

    Now, I can't say either way. But some of the things he describes do sound preposterous. So I would not be surprised if he took serious licence.

    Yes, please lend, this week, if possible, so I can take them with me to the motherland.
     
  8. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    yeah I wouldn't be surprised at all if parts were embellished. Though I don't recall any kitchen scenes in his non-KC books. They just make me want to eat at Le Bernardin or Masa.

    I'll bring them in this week - care to reciprocate with some of your latest readings?
     
  9. Renton

    Renton Senior member

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    I've read or listened to most of the Bourdain books and they've all been pretty enjoyable. I wasn't too enthralled with The Nasty Bits but it was good, light reading. A Cook's Tour was probably my favorite, sort of a precursor to No Reservations.
     
  10. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    I don't know about his level of BS, but in my experience the opinion of people on the internet is pretty full of BS.

    I think you just warped the space-time continuum. [​IMG]

    Like Kwilk- I generally don't like Bourdain- to flip Manton's question- are his EARLY books worth reading?
     
  11. braised

    braised Senior member

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    Has anyone read the Bourdain books published after Kitchen Confidential? Should I bother with them? I have never really been tempted but now I wonder.

    Also, if anyone knows of good books about being/becoming a chef, plz mention. I have read all of Ruhlman, Heat, Achatz, etc., i.e., all the obvious ones but probably have missed some.

    thx


    Manton - focus on chef books. Pierre Franey's A Chef's Tale, Pierre Koffman's La Tante Claire are all insightful. Bernard L'Oiseau's The Perfectionist (he didn't write it, being dead and all that) is a must to understand the 3 Star phenonema in France during the second half of the 20th. There is a good book by George Blanc though I can't remember the name.

    I recently gave a chef friend a copy of Lisa Abend's Sorcerer's Apprentice about a year at El Bulli with Adria. I haven't read it but hope to at some point.

    Simone Beck's Food and Friends is a great memoir. Paul Grimes who was at Gourmet and still knocks about NY edited and wrote some of the book.

    As to Bourdain, I don't know the chronology of the works, but the Les Halles cookbook is sound. Frank Stitt wrote a great book about his restaurant and the south called Southern Table or something like that.

    The one book I want to read is a Jonathan Waxman biography. I've never met the guy but his food has a ton of personality and the era he's lived through had some wild times. I'm sure there's a tale in there. Go play Rhulman to his Keller and get me a book, OK?

    B
     
  12. ErnestoG.

    ErnestoG. Senior member

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    i really enjoyed reading a cooks tour.
     
  13. Xericx

    Xericx Senior member

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    I have A Cook's tour on audiobook. I love it because it was read by Bourdain...made a big difference. More entertaining than Kitchen Confidential (also on Audiobook) for sure.
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    (...)A Cook's Tour was probably my favorite, sort of a precursor to No Reservations.

    I was very fond of A Cook's Tour, but have only read that and Kitchen Confidential.
     
  15. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    I recently gave a chef friend a copy of Lisa Abend's Sorcerer's Apprentice about a year at El Bulli with Adria. I haven't read it but hope to at some point.

    I just finished this, and it kind of takes the magic away. Not that I was going to have a chance to eat there, but I'm actually kind of turned off now.

    Bourdain's latest book is kind of episodic, and enjoyable in a gossipy way when he starts slamming people. It doesn't have the same energy or magic as KC.

    --Andre
     

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