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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.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,511744,063 (3.79)80
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)

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English (73)  German (1)  All languages (74)
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
I didn't enjoy this book. Compared to other similar food and cooking memoirs, this one has fewer personalities and more food. The problem is that for me, the food does not sound appealing at all. Buford talks about eating serving after serving of lard, he complains when a restaurant entree comes with vegetables on the side, he talks about how employees who leave the restaurant all lose forty pounds, … The food sounds worse and less healthy than McDonalds. Yuck. The book still gives a window into a certain culture, but not a very attractive one. ( )
  breic | Jun 8, 2019 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 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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