I not so secretly wish I had a little more Tony Bourdain in me. In a world of fake folks, Tony is among a rare few television personalities who says what he thinks (with or without the assistance of the local beverage of choice).
If you have never watched his show No Reservations, you must do so immediately. Tony visits cities and regions the world over. Part food t.v., part travel diary and part autobiography, the show offers its viewers divine images of local markets or seedy back alley restaurants or off-the-beaten-path bars. Recent episodes on Brittany, France and the Italian island of Sardinia were especially tasty.
While the images in Tony's show are consistently visually innovative, his words, his insights are what keep me tuning in. Often snarky, regularly acerbic, Tony observes the cultures around him with truth and humor.
All of this Tony praise is geared at introducing his latest book: Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook. Like his first book nearly ten years ago, Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain exposes the restaurant world from the point of view of a seasoned chef.
In this new book, he describes food "heroes" and "villains." Heroes include genius NYC chefs like Eric Ripert and David Chang. I completely concur with his categorization of Sandra Lee as a food villain. Lee grates on my nerves, like a microplane to a garlic clove, with her contrived and forced recipes---I once watched her make a Kwanzaa cake that looked like (and no doubt tasted like) a play dough creation with wild unappetizing colors. Her fussy "tablescapes" with their silk flowers and matchy placesettings are the antithesis of refined or elegant dining. But, back to the book....
If Medium Raw proves to be like his other works, I have no doubt that I'll be laughing at Bourdain's spicy language and soaking in his acidic commentary.
As soon as I can get my hands on a copy of the new book which releases tomorrow, I'll be back with a review.