Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Revelry Review: Medium Raw

I recently finished reading Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People who Cook by Anthony Bourdain.

Now, I should confess to you that I LOVE Anthony Bourdain. I watch episodes of "No Reservations" endlessly. I think it is smart, well-written, honest and interesting. Tony goes places and does things that I can only dream about. I loved Kitchen Confidential too, mostly because I spent a few years working full-time as a waitress and thought it was time that someone was honest with the general public about restaurant life.

However.

Either it's my old age or Tony's that has led me to conclude that Medium Raw is just a tad too....well, mean. Don't get me wrong--I found it interesting and I like reading his point of view on the food world. Let's face it--tons of bad food-related media is thrust at us daily. But was it necessary to essentially filet Alice Waters? And I know he hates the Food Network, but I didn't know just how deep that hatred ran. I don't like Sandra Lee either, but his description of her is a bit over the top. It felt like essay after essay kept getting more and more angry.

I should back up and say being over the top and a little gruff is why so many of us love Anthony Bourdain. I just wish this book had read more like the honest critique he is known for and less like one big attack on all things mainstream in the foodie world.

2 comments:

Carolyn said...

Wow I need to read this. I enjoyed his other books too but lately I too find his attitude annoying. Funny at first, but a bit too much now. You're rich and uber successful... why are you still bitching?

Kirsten said...

I really loved Medium Raw, for many reasons. I'm going to post a review soon as well.

My love for Tony's insight comes from a personal place. I've met him several times (I doubt he remembers me) and I have worked with many of the people that he speaks of in his books. So, I have many personal opinions that match his.