Medium Raw

Anthony Bourdain

In the world of food celebrities, saying Anthony Bourdain is an acquired taste is kind of like saying a Naga Viper pepper is an acquired taste. Some might find him too hot to handle. He may be as likely to disgust you as to entertain you, but it’s his own disgust with pretension that endears him to me. And his latest book, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, is a no-holds-barred attack on his fellow high-profile foodies that is both entertaining and informative. Watching food-journalist Mark Bittman prepare paella, Bourdain says: “I want to shove my head through the glass of my TV screen and take a giant bite out of his skull, scoop the soft, slurry-like material inside into my paw, and then throw it right back into his smug, fireplug face.” Of chef Alice Waters: “Pol Pot in a muumuu ….” Medium Raw continues his proclivity to engage his perceived enemies in the shifting world of modern gastronomica. His rants and diatribes on food are interjected with revealing self-confessions. If eating is a cultural experience for you, Bourdain is a flavor you have to taste.