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Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen…

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

by Bill Buford (Author)

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

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,261702,835 (3.82)74

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Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
Loads of food history in this treasure trove! Great read if you are at all interested in Italian food or learning about the culinary trades. ( )
  untitled841 | Aug 20, 2015 |
Best of it's kind books about upscale kitchens - the author really gets into the guts of the kitchen experience much more than writers like Anthony Bourdain or other food critics. It's not a breezy read, but the detail and personal interpretation of the experience is fantastic. At times laugh out loud funny, other times a historical lesson on the evolution of how egg found its way into pasta. a fun read! ( )
  lincolnpan | Dec 31, 2014 |
Mit Ende 40 seinen vorteilhaften Job hinschmeißen und als Küchenhelfer anheuern? So bescheuert kann man doch gar nicht sein. Doch, Bill Buford war es. Er kündigte seinen Redakteursjob beim New Yorker und fing im Sterne-Restaurant Babbo in New York an, ganz unten. Bereitete Möhren, Zwiebeln, Pilze zu, zerlegte Enten, grillte Unmengen Fleisch und Fisch bis er glaubte, hier genügend gelernt zu haben. Doch es war nicht genug: Nach einem Jahr ging er nach Italien und arbeitete in einer Trattoria, um sich die Kunst des Pastamachens anzueignen und danach in der berühmtesten Metzgerei Italiens eine neue Ausbildung zu absolvieren.
Obwohl Buford bereits zuvor ein begeisterter Hobbykoch war, ist es eine völlig neue Welt die er da betritt. Er (und zugleich die Leserinnen und Leser) lernt das Chaos und die Hektik kennen, die in einer Feinschmeckerküche herrschen, aber auch, dass dennoch mit Liebe und Hingabe gekocht wird. Er trifft exzentrische Weinbauern, Metzger und Köche und berichtet nicht bloß über diese Begegnungen, sondern ebenso über seine Gedanken, die diese 'neuen' Menschen und Tätigkeiten in ihm auslösen. Was all diese Personen verbindet, ist nicht bloß dass sie sich alle in irgendeiner Art und Weise mit Lebensmitteln beschäftigen, sondern dass sie es mit Liebe und Respekt tun und voller Interesse sind für das, womit sie arbeiten. Auch Buford wird davon infiziert und er zeigt die Widersprüche auf, die insbesondere in den westlichen Industriegesellschaften vorherrschen: Fast alle essen Fleisch - aber keiner will wissen, was geschehen muss, damit es wie gewünscht auf unseren Tellern liegt. Von Liebe und Respekt keine Spur. Angeekelt wendet sich beispielsweise der Investmentbanker ab, als Buford ein ganzes, frisch getötetes Schwein mit einer Blutlache in einer Plastikverpackung in seine Wohnung schleppt - vermutlich würde es vielen von uns ähnlich gehen.
So unterhält das Buch glänzend, informiert über vieles was man noch nicht wusste, regt zum Nachdenken über unser Essen an - und löst unbändigen Appetit aus.
Wiglaf Droste als Vorleser ist voller Enthusiasmus bei der Sache, es macht Laune ihm zuzuhören. Nur manchmal empfand ich seine Version des Dario etwas überzogen - sooo exaltiert wird dieser Mensch wohl doch nicht sein, oder? ( )
  Xirxe | Dec 2, 2014 |
Essentially, the story of a journalist of no mean reputation (former editor of Granta and fiction editor of The New Yorker), who in frustration at his ineptness at cooking for dinner parties, decides to apprentice himself to Mario Batali, learning the ropes in his renowned New York restaurant, Babbo.

The title says it all. His culinary education takes him from nasty accidents in the kitchen to learning first-hand the arts of pasta making and butchering in Italy. Much of it focuses on the career of Mario Batali, which is an interesting story in itself, but I much preferred the recounting of Buford’s real life adventures, which are awe-inspiring. Talk about throwing yourself in at the deep end, he literally immerses himself in the world of a professional kitchen (often at the cost of bodily injury) and carries the reader along with him, hoping he won’t kill himself before he feels he’s learnt enough.

There are some amazing insights into the crazy world of celebrity chefs which are fascinating in themselves. But the whole book is written in such an engaging way and with such brilliant depiction of characters, you feel really disappointed to reach the end and have to break acquaintance with all of them. ( )
  Anne_Green | Jul 14, 2014 |
This was a fun book to read. It started out as a biography of Mario Batali by a middle-aged journalist who wormed his way into Mario's kitchen as an intern. But it quickly grew into an exploration of why people chose to cook professionally and why people devote their lives to producing quality food when mass-production has so much more monetary benefits. The author leaves Mario's kitchen to go to Italy to learn about pasta from the masters, then works for a butcher in Italy learning the ins and outs of properly raising and butchering pigs and cattle. Eventually he tries to wrap it all up with a summation of Mario's life, but at that point the book has moved so far away from Mario's story that it hardly seems worth the effort to try to reign it back in. I would've rather had the author cut the Mario stories at the beginning and make it entirely about his personal journey, but I suppose sometimes it's about mass-marketing celebrities to get to the point where you can deliver your quality product. ( )
  sbloom42 | May 21, 2014 |
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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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