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Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen…
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Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker,… (2006)

by Bill Buford

Other authors: Mario Batali (Subject), Marco Pierre White (Subject)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
An amateur's adventures as kitchen slave, line cook, pasta-maker, and apprentice to a Dante-quoting butcher in Tuscany.
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
Good for the beach but not great writing. Too much macho kitchen posturing for me, but with none of the twisted humor of Anthony Bourdain. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
Bill Buford became a follower of Mario Butali but went further by returning over and over to Italy to learn more of the secrets of Italian cooking and butchery. The myth was that, under Catherine de Medici, the French stole Italian cooking secrets, becoming the world's foremost cuisine while Italian cuise stagnated. This is not the way it worked. Buford tells about the ins and outs of restaurant kitchens and his quest to become a cook rather than a chef. Quite well written and fun to read. BTW, Butali's parents have a shop called Salumi in Seattle while Butali has a ranking restaurant in NYC. ( )
  Roamin1 | Aug 28, 2016 |
I learned a lot, and the stuff about working with Mario Batali at the beginning was very interesting, but the bulk of the book is about being kindof an apprentice butcher and pastamaker in Italy, so it's a little slower-moving. Since very little of the book is actually about working for Mario, I felt kinda bait-and-switched -- if I'd read the book expecting it to be a memoir about butchery, I might have liked it better than I actually did. Just not quite as advertised. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
Read this via audio-book. The mispronunciations and over-enunciations of the reader drove me a bit nuts, which isn't Buford's fault. But Buford is to blame for how bland and uninformative this book is. Every second felt like an hour, and in the end, I just couldn't slog through any more of it. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Buford, BillAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Batali, MarioSubjectsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
White, Marco PierreSubjectsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kramer, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Jessica ... che move il sole e l'altre stelle.
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The first glimpse I had of what Mario Batali's friends had described to me as the "myth of Mario" was on a cold Saturday night in January 2002, when I invited him to a birthday dinner.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 022407184X, Hardcover)

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


(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:42 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Writer Buford's memoir of his headlong plunge into the life of a professional cook. Expanding on his award-winning New Yorker article, Buford gives us a chronicle of his experience as "slave" to Mario Batali in the kitchen of Batali's three-star New York restaurant, Babbo. He describes three frenetic years of trials and errors, disappointments and triumphs, as he worked his way up the Babbo ladder from "kitchen bitch" to line cook, his relationship with the larger-than-life Batali, whose story he learns as their friendship grows through (and sometimes despite) kitchen encounters and after-work all-nighters, and his immersion in the arts of butchery in Northern Italy, of preparing game in London, and making handmade pasta at an Italian hillside trattoria.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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