In his new book, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain looks back on the decade since he published Kitchen Confidential.
By Anthony Bourdain
Ten years ago, Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential shocked diners with the “don't order fish on a Monday” credo and other dirty little secrets. The book famously gave us a peek into the seamy underbelly of the restaurant world, and also the deliciously debaucherous world inhabited by its author.
In his new book, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, Bourdain looks back at the intervening decade in which he ate and drank his way around the world. And — no surprise — the aging bad boy is still dishing dirt about the industry.
Bourdain has become a father, and that life experience has changed his perspective a bit. There is a hilarious section in the book in which he attempts to take down Ronald McDonald in “a campaign of psychological warfare.” He wants his daughter to “see American fast-food culture as I do. As the enemy.”
“‘Ronald has cooties,’ I say — every time he shows up on television or out the window of the car.”
Fatherhood hasn't caused Bourdain to lose his trademark edge, but thinking about the food that his daughter eats has raised some questions for him and added a layer of concern that was absent from his previous books. He still has some choice words for vegetarians, but has found “an area of overlapping interests” with PETA, and even with Alice Waters.
He's certainly not all doom and gloom, though. Readers will relish Bourdain's loving descriptions of spaghetti alla bottarga in Sardinia with freshly pressed olive oil, piping hot baguettes from a tiny Parisian boulangerie, Sichuan hot pot “like a witch's brew…mind-blowingly excessive amounts of dired Sichuan chilies bobbing and roiling up throughout,” and more.