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Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain


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LML, thank you for the clarification of what makes you tick.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Jim & Andy,  Thanks for the recommendation on 'Bone', (and for Gone Bamboo, which I was also wondering about).   Also for the tip on Dibdin, who I hadn't heard of before.  I'm always looking for good mysteries, and combined with food, all the better. Even though I thought Bourdain's mobster violence might be too grisley, I had to remember,  my favorite TV show is CSI, followed by Alias, that CIA gal who can really kick !!@*!.  I think I can handle 'Bone'.  Thanks!  

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I have no problem with Mr. Rayner's review. I have and will continue to give reasonable people plenty of reasons to not like my work--or me.  I think that comparing the two quotes above, though, that it would be fairer to say that this book and TV round the world tour was indeed the biggest score of my life. I may have plenty of mixed emotions about making television (my relentless, frenzied book-flogging to the contrary)--but I had no such confusion about seeing the world--and eating up as much of it as I could at the time. It was, in fact, a great adventure for me. The opportunity to bounce around SE Asia and Mexico and Europe was something about which I was unrestrainedly enthusiastic.  Whether my travels resulted in worthwhile reading is a fair subject for disagreement.

abourdain

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I always hate the corporate thank you. Let me add my personal appreciation for your participation even if it's only to tell me that I miss the point. If nothing else, your last post raises the level of intelligent conversation in this thread and can't possibly do you or your book any harm. I can't imagine that the opportunity to bounce around SE Asia and Mexico and Europe, and eat up as much of it as possible, would not be a great adventure for most of us. There's got to be some value in reading about such an adventure. In between "tedious,"  "disappointment" and "letdown" Rayner seems to find enough good stuff to justify a peek at the book. Perhaps it's worth noting that some of my most diappointing meals have been at three star restaurants. Everything is relative.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I read in "Restaurant" magazine that Mr Bourdain will be appearing at the Royal Festival Hall no less to talk about his book and TV series sometime in January (no date given I'm afraid). The story also calls Bourdain "a kind of intellectual Jamie Oliver". Anthony, you're going to sue, right? Maybe Fat-Guy can represent you!  

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First of all, coming to the conversation quite late, my views carry little or no weight ( unlike the rest of me ) but for what it is worth, here is my take

The real problem I had with the book was not the writing which is fine and much improved from Kitchen Confidential which was carried along on the enthusiasm of its subject.  No, the real problem was that the books starts from an artificial premise.

As Rayner points out in his review, it starts with Bourdain saying " #### I have taken a shed load of money and now have to come up with an idea " and that way as all publishers/writers know lies madness.  you are trying to shoehorn in ideas into a format of your own making.  The books appeared contrived and while the style and joie came through you always know it is based on a list made up in a corner office in the flat iron ( or is it 10th 55th st for Harper?)

That being said, Bourdain writing from a contrived premise is a whole lot more entertaining that most

Now what I would like to see you do next Anthony, is to recreate Down & Out in Paris and London and go back to being a lowly pan scrubber in a three star place under a truly monsterous Chef who treats you like crap.  Perhaps our friend GR could oblige

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All books are contrived, some merely contrive to obfuscate their contrivances, an example of a natural uncontrived premise is unimaginable. The result is a, often seemless, patchwork of truth, untruth and cynicism in varying measures. I think Bourdain is up-front and honest especially if one sees the subtext of A Cook's Tour as being about taking advantage of good fortune.

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Quote: from Lord Michael Lewis on 5:17 pm on Jan. 7, 2002

I think Bourdain is up-front and honest especially if one sees the subtext of A Cook's Tour as being about taking advantage of good fortune.

That's a cogent point. Not advertised as such on the cover or flaps so not one expected by most readers.

In any case, I'll enjoy watching the series when it's eventually shown on Food Network Canada.

I would just like to see Mr. Bourdain do more on cooking that I can relate to. Like take the topic of offal and get to its guts. Or get together fellow professionals and wrangle out the best cut of steak anywhere and the best way to cook it. And sell it. What steak has meant, can mean, might mean. And so on.

(Edited by Jinmyo at 5:49 pm on Jan. 7, 2002)

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Oh Jesus....Oh...that's awful! I don't know which is worse: "intellectual" or "Jamie Oliver"! And if that's not bad enough--here  comes Majumdar--whose every sentence(almost) I admire, to give me an elegantly applied boot to the groin, suggesting both COOKS and KITCHEN were cooked up in some corner office at Bloomsbury or Harpers like a freaking N'Sync album. I would have thought the sheer sloppiness of both finished products would have disabused him of that notion. And for the record, Simon? Even in my prime (such as it was), I wouldn't have lasted ten minutes in a GR kitchen. While it is entirely possible--and even likely--that when my 15 minutes are up (any minute now...) I  find myself cleaning mussels and squid in a cellar prep kitchen again, I think it's way too late to contemplate a Down and Out 2002. Someone else should--and hopefully will write that book.  I'm over there in a few weeks, Majumdar--If I find myself having an early Guiness and kidney breakfast at the Cock--how will I recognize you? Would love to knock back a few pints and argue about something/anything. I'll be the guy without the plastic helmut.

abourdain

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I would be happy to drink you under the table at Tbe Cock whenever you are in town, but we should also add in a few at The Wenlock as it is such a reliable crusty old boozer and you sound like you need to be shocked out of your Celebrity status garnered in the hallowed hall(es) - see how easily I slip from one style to another) of midtown publisherdom ( I can just see you sipping a martini with Mauro di Preta )

I tell you what.  We can both offer our services to GR for an afternoon and whichever of us doesn't chin the f**ker is bought as many pints as can be fitted into their hollow legs and an obliging 18 yr old Hungarian to carry them home by the other one

S

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With my (thermal) vested interest in Restaurant magazine, I feel I must clairify the nature of its alleged slur aganist Mr Bourdain (Thank you Andy).

Far from saying he is 'an intellectual Jamie Oliver', we merely opined that he was 'fast turning into' a kind of 'intellectual Jamie Oliver'.

This is (whilst still a harrowing vision) entirely avoidable. There is still time Anthony, turn back from the dark side (or if you prefer, 'stay away from the light').

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Anthony Bourdain, I don't know if you will sell any books or learn anything here, but I trust you are finding it an interesting place, or at least as interesting a place as we can be without a bar.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Thom - I have to admit to trimming the quote to increase to the comic effect, but I don't think I distorted the meaning too much.

Liza - you are in grave danger of incurring Simon's wrath, you are not allowed to be too nice to people on this site you know.

Sam - does AB have some influence over GR?

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