1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
He's calmed down a bit,
This review is from: Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook (Hardcover)
This is the follow-up to 'Kitchen Confidential', a book that contained rage not just at circumstances, but at life itself - that was a book full of dark joy, and the energy needed to write it - let alone to live that way - was the sort of level that could never be sustained by anyone who wasn't a complete maniac.
Which, I have to say, I thought Anthony was. I now realise he's just as 'normal' as the rest of us - pretty much nuts then, but coping with it from day to day. He's written the book about his past, and this is the book about his present. He's not doing the Class A drugs any more, and there's a more calm and collected sense of perspective about things - he's in a place that he himself admits he could ever have imagined possible a few years ago.
AB has a really great way of writing about things - I *hated* his attempts at writing fiction; they were in the style of Raymond Chandler, but they came across more like 'soft boiled' rather than 'hard boiled' - he's far more comfortable telling things the way they are. So, in this book you get stories about insane girlfriends with too much cash, his opinion of 'Food Network', all these sort of things. There's a great section called 'Food Porn' which just describes (in quite fantastic detail) his favourite meals. I've been lucky enough to have had one of them, and believe me - he's right on the money when he's writing about food.
He describes - and interviews - a few of the characters in the professional kitchen world (a terrible phrase, but you know what I mean, I hope); there's a great little profile of this guy who prepares fresh fish for a TOP restaurant; he's nothing to look at, but he can do the job twice as quickly as three others can when he's not there - the way AB uses his words, you're there with him, cutting, skinning, gutting and scaling. I worked as a fishmonger for a year or two, and it brought it all back.
Another favourite episode of mine is when he writes about how he counteracts the advertising power of McDonalds with his young child - you'll have to read the book if you want to find out more, as it's very amusing, but not really printable on Amazon.
He's painfully honest about why he disapproves of certain people (and to be fair, they seem to deserve it), but at the same time he's obviously very loyal to the friends he has, too. I really enjoyed this book (I read small chunks on trains and waiting rooms over the course of a month); it won't disappoint.