Sunday, July 22, 2007
An amateur's adventures as kitchen slave, line cook, pasta-maker, and apprentice to a Dante-quoting butcher in Tuscany, by Bill Buford.
Quickie recap: If you watch the food network or enjoy intense bouts of Iron Chef at 2am, then the name Mario Batali is already familiar to you. Buford, a fan of the superstar chef, becomes his protoge, and spends the next several years of his life dicing carrots and up to his elbows in meat.
Quickie review: It becomes obvious almost immediately that Buford is not in the kitchen simply to research his new book. He is genuinely interested at first, and with time, becomes genuinely obsessed. Luckily for us, obsession makes for extremely compelling reading. In the end, it's not just about cooking, it's about finding room for passion in your life, it's an argument for slowing down life, it's a love letter to every good meal we've ever had and the many more still to come. My belly growled while he learned to make fresh pasta and clenched when he butchered a 300lb pig on his kitchen table. Buford is funny and light-hearted and honest, and even knowing what I now know, I'd still let him cook me a steak.
Quickie recommendation: If you have ever bought food, prepared food, or eaten food, this book is for you.