Monday, June 21, 2010

Thanks for the Valentine, Bourdain.

Definitely a sequel, Medium Raw clarifies some of the brash arguments from Kitchen Confidential.Overall written with great wit, but the scattered flow was a little too dissonant at times. There are some great sensory writings on the diner’s experience.A few of the chapters might lose someone who is not immersed in the underbelly of kitchens.
When I read this book, I wonder what he’d write about me. Why do I care what Anthony Bourdain thinks of me? I don’t know him, I don't want to be like him: get into, be overcome by, and wean off of drugs, end up in a gutter to realize how what I want to do or who I want to be. I have no desire to get hooked on meth, or spend a good portion of my dealing with fryer oil, but I like getting my butt kicked. Bourdain gets that. He delves with curiosity into the separation of levels of cuisine, types of cooks and confusing struggle blending passion with occupation. It sometimes pains him to see the dichotomy between the cook and the client, but acknowledges that is what makes the industry work. He understands that pride and rage can both fester and become exposed in the kitchen, in healthy and unhealthy ways.

I admire and envy him, because through his writing, Bourdain poses many questions that I often think about, and woefully yet willingly accepts that there is no clear answer to any of them.

Although sometimes overly poetic, Bourdain does a great job of explaining that he finally realizes that he doesn't have all the answers, nor is the epitome of anything cooking/eating/foodie/whatever folk want him to be, but is just a dude striving for content and understanding, of himself and the world around him.