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Heat: An Amateur Cook in a Professional Kitchen by [Bill Buford]
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Heat: An Amateur Cook in a Professional Kitchen Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 696 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Buford develops a superbly detailed picture of life in a top restaurant kitchen. . . Heat is a sumptuous meal.” —The New York Times“Delightful. . . . Charming. . . . [Buford’s] style is . . . happily obsessed with a weird subculture, woozily in love with both cooking and the foul-mouthed, refined-palette world of the chef.” —The Washington Post Book World“Exuberant, hilarious, glorying in its rich and arcane subject matter, Heat is Plimptonesque immersion journalism. . . . With Heat, we have a writer lighting on the subject of a lifetime.” —The Los Angeles Times Book Review


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Amazon.com Review

Bill Buford's funny and engaging book Heat offers readers a rare glimpse behind the scenes in Mario Batali's kitchen. Who better to review the book for Amazon.com, than Anthony Bourdain, the man who first introduced readers to the wide array of lusty and colorful characters in the restaurant business? We asked Anthony Bourdain to read Heat and give us his take. We loved it. So did he. Check out his review below. --Daphne Durham
Guest Reviewer: Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain is host of the Discovery Channel's No Reservations, executive chef at Les Halles in Manhattan, and author of the bestselling and groundbreaking Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook, A Cook's Tour, Bone in the Throat, and many others. His latest book, The Nasty Bits will be released on May 16, 2006.

Heat is a remarkable work on a number of fronts--and for a number of reasons. First, watching the author, an untrained, inexperienced and middle-aged desk jockey slowly transform into not just a useful line cook--but an extraordinarily knowledgable one is pure pleasure. That he chooses to do so primarily in the notoriously difficult, cramped kitchens of New York's three star Babbo provides further sado-masochistic fun. Buford not only accurately and hilariously describes the painfully acquired techniques of the professional cook (and his own humiations), but chronicles as well the mental changes--the "kitchen awareness" and peculiar world view necessary to the kitchen dweller. By end of book, he's even talking like a line cook.

Secondly, the book is a long overdue portrait of the real Mario Batali and of the real Marco Pierre White--two complicated and brilliant chefs whose coverage in the press--while appropriately fawning--has never described them in their fully debauched, delightful glory. Buford has--for the first time--managed to explain White's peculiar--almost freakish brilliance--while humanizing a man known for terrorizing cooks, customers (and Batali). As for Mario--he is finally revealed for the Falstaffian, larger than life, mercurial, frighteningly intelligent chef/enterpreneur he really is. No small accomplishment. Other cooks, chefs, butchers, artisans and restaurant lifers are described with similar insight.

Thirdly, Heat reveals a dead-on understanding--rare among non-chef writers--of the pleasures of "making" food; the real human cost, the real requirements and the real adrenelin-rush-inducing pleasures of cranking out hundreds of high quality meals. One is left with a truly unique appreciation of not only what is truly good about food--but as importantly, who cooks--and why. I can't think of another book which takes such an unsparing, uncompromising and ultimately thrilling look at the quest for culinary excellence. Heat brims with fascinating observations on cooking, incredible characters, useful discourse and argument-ending arcania. I read my copy and immediately started reading it again. It's going right in between Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London and Zola's The Belly of Paris on my bookshelf. --Anthony Bourdain



--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN : B000GCFVUQ
  • Publisher : Vintage (May 30, 2006)
  • Publication date : May 30, 2006
  • Language : English
  • File size : 1353 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 384 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN : 1400034477
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 696 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
696 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on May 10, 2020
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22 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on February 10, 2013
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13 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on August 14, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Jan Verhulst
3.0 out of 5 stars Recommended. But it's no "Kitchen Confidential"
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 6, 2017
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5 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Insight into kitchen life and Italian food
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 4, 2021
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Zen Kite
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 2, 2020
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AJ147
5.0 out of 5 stars Was unsure what to expect from this but it was ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 27, 2017
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madmanc
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 16, 2013
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