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Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook (P.S.) [Paperback]

Anthony Bourdain
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 May 2011 P.S.
A lot has changed since Kitchen Confidential - for the subculture of chefs and cooks, for the restaurant business-and for Anthony Bourdain. Medium Raw explores these changes, moving back and forth from the author's bad old days to the present. Tracking his own strange and unexpected voyage from journeyman cook to globe-travelling professional eater and drinker, Bourdain compares and contrasts what he's seen and what he's seeing, pausing along the way for a series of confessions, rants, investigations, and interrogations of some of the most controversial figures in food. And always he returns to the question: 'Why cook?' Or the harder one to answer: 'Why cook well?' Beginning with a secret and highly illegal after-hours gathering of powerful chefs he compares to a Mafia summit, Bourdain, in his distinctive, no-holds-barred style, cuts to the bone on every subject he tackles.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Frequently Bought Together

Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook (P.S.) + A Cook's Tour + Kitchen Confidential
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  • A Cook's Tour £7.19
  • Kitchen Confidential £7.19


Product details

  • Paperback: 281 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco Press; Reprint edition (3 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780061718953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061718953
  • ASIN: 0061718955
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,669,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'As ferociously rude as anything Bourdain has done before' (Kathryn Hughes, Guardian)

'Terrific ... his love for his subjects - both the food and the cook - sings as it once did in Kitchen Confidential' (Daily Telegraph)

'Bourdain has insight, access and good taste, and he's a naturally engaging writer ... [he] is a hopeless romantic when it comes to food and the people who cook' (New York Times)

'Bourdain is a vivid, bawdy and often foul-mouthed writer. He thrills in the attack, but he is also an enthusiast who writes well about things he holds dear' (Wall Street Journal) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Anthony Bourdain's long-awaited sequel to Kitchen Confidential, the worldwide bestseller --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vitriolic, but never vicious. 29 Jun 2010
By Deano
Format:Hardcover
I have been an admirer of Anthony Bourdain since the release of 'Kitchen Confidential' ten years ago. His writing is always good, whether in his fiction, his travel writing or in memoir. It is, however, when writing about cooks and cooking that his prose comes truly alive. His passion for food and those involved in its preparation, from the imagination required to produce a tasting menu at the French Laundry to the mental stamina and physical skill involved in `cutting' 700lbs of fish in 5 hours, has not diminished over the years. If anything, the personal and professional changes in his life, and they have been startling, have fired his enthusiasm and, in some memorable instances, his anger. The `Heroes & Villains' chapter is a delight to read not least because he can turn a phrase, but because he is unafraid when choosing his targets and the language used to skewer them.
The chapter on `Virtue' is a stand out because it acts as neat summation of the sensibility of an intelligent sensualist. Writing about food and the pleasure associated with eating and cooking is, as Anthony Bourdain points out, extremely difficult without resorting to the banalities of `food porn' so ubiquitous in the culture. In 'Medium Raw' he avoids cliché or cheap observations to produce a fresh, honest and thoughtful take on subjects that ought to be of interest to everyone. Buy copies for yourself and people you like.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bubble And Squeak 8 July 2010
By A. Miles VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Medium Raw is subtitled 'A Bloody Valentine To The World Of Food And The People Who Cook' an unwieldy sentence which doesn't actually mean very much, and means even less when you read the book: Medium Raw is a collection of leftovers, chopped up and shaped into book form, and deep fried in marketing hype. I had gotten the impression this was going to be an autobiography of Mr. Bourdain's post 'Kitchen Confidential' years, but there's no cohesive thread to the book at all: It ranges from a diatribe against tasting menus to a piece about taking his four-year old daughter to dance class. There are some meaty bits amongst all the starchy filler - Bourdain is wonderful at writing about food and the food industry - but a lot of it is inexcusably self-indulgent: an entire chapter is devoted to dishing the dirt on an obscure (to non-New Yorkers, anyway)food critic who's insulted Bourdain in a restaurant review: Another piece 'Heroes and Villains' reads like it was knocked up in a few hours purely to fill up a few more pages. In short, there's just not enough meat on the plate here to justify charging for a full meal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Anthony Bourdain: Famous for being famous 2 July 2014
Format:Paperback
Before reading this, I thought Anthony Bourdain was a celebrity French chef.

Then one day he popped up on a cable TV channel and, lo and behold, turned out to be a good old American presenter who spends his time traveling the world and eating food in street markets.

Spiders fried in pepper sauce in Rangoon, starlings stewed in vinegar in Corsica, grasshoppers dipped in palm oil in Madagascar, vampire bat cutlets in Transylvania, goat entrails with reindeer brains in Kamchatka and jellied bear claws with baby scorpions in Syria. He has gone where no man's stomach has gone before, eaten everything up and lived to tell the tale.

I have since learned that he was never a chef but worked in a restaurant in New York for some years and wrote a book in which he exposed what goes on in the kitchen that those of us in the dining room don't know - or don't want to know - about.

This book explains how he shifted "career" from chopping onions to posing for the camera and writing travelogues. He also manages to sound like a jaded rock star when he recounts the days when he was into drugs. (Yawn, yawn, we've heard it all before, Mr. B.)

Bourdain would probably be entertaining in small doses. However, 250 pages is enough. Homespun philosophy about how he raises his adorable little daughter appears alongside foul-mouthed rants about people in the food business most of us have never heard of. Lots of humdrum thoughts about nothing of any importance pad it out.

I suspect Bourdain is one of those media creations who is famous because he is famous and takes himself too seriously despite his attempts to show how he is really just a laidback guy like the rest of us.

If you don't have anything to say Mr. Bourdain, then don't say anything and please don't be tempted to write a sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Denis Vukosav TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
"Medium Raw" by Anthony Bourdain is a new book written by this notorious chef who previously wrote an excellent book "Kitchen Confidential" and led very popular show "No Reservations".

"Medium Raw" somehow can be seen as sequel to "Kitchen Confidential" although ten years had passed and lot of things had changed in the food industry.
And due to that it should be honest and say that this book is of a bit lower quality compared to his previous work, although it has lots of qualities for which it should be read.

Its best parts are those when Anthony is telling the stories from the cook line, when he's describing fantastic dishes and when he is telling stories about his private life, how he feels being father for the first time, and being husband the second.
What was totally unnecessary and actually spoiled the experience of the whole book is a part where he talks about Food Network and other cooks that are probably completely unknown to wider audience and therefore uninteresting.

Although I didn't previously heard about the guy, the particularly touching part of the book is when Anthony is telling story about Justo Thomas, a man who works at the New York restaurant Le Bernardin.
Thomas became famous due to his skills of quick fish filleting, allegedly he can shift 1000 pounds of fish a day, a job that takes three men when Thomas is away.
I hope that Thomas would be still there when I'll come to that restaurant, just to try his fish fillets.

Overall, this whole book was like speaking to Anthony Bourdain or listening to him while in same time eating some good meal.
And if there weren't those unnecessary parts, and the previous book which showed that the author can do even better, such conversation would deserve the highest grade.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Intelligently scabrous !
Published 1 month ago by Michael hoar
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Finished it in 3 days.
Published 3 months ago by Selina Hirst
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly entertaining
If you enjoyed Kitchen Confidential you'll enjoy this. A slightly more nature Bourdain reflects on a foodie world of fine dining, food TV and life as a minor celeb. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Diyqueen
2.0 out of 5 stars Rehashed like one of his 70's buffets
I love Tony - don't get me wrong. I read Kitchen Confidential and laughed like a drain. I cried reading the chapter about looking for his father in France - while I was at the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by F. Valentine
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars
You are only going to read this if you have read the original kitchen confidential, therefore reader will know what to expect. Read more
Published 9 months ago by DC
5.0 out of 5 stars always a winner
Always love bourdains writings and this is no exception! A rollicking read perfect for beach or home, a must read
Published 9 months ago by denz
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
i bought it for my husband so cant say much apart from my husband loved it and would recommend to all
Published 12 months ago by Miranda Elam
5.0 out of 5 stars Medium Raw
I am very pleased with my purchase. It was delivered promptly as always and I have all of the other chef related books by this author and so I know I will enjoy reading it.
Published 13 months ago by st3matthews
4.0 out of 5 stars Its not really as bad as you might think
You either like Anthony Bourdain or you do not, It really is a simple as that I'm afraid.
Me I love him.
Published 22 months ago by stoveboy78
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it. Not as good as his first though.
If you're obsessed with celebrity chefs, then this is a good read. If not, stick to his classic Kitchen Confidential which was far more exciting. A hard book to follow I guess.
Published on 12 April 2012 by Lara
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