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Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-maker and Apprentice to a Butcher in Tuscany by [Buford, Bill]
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Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-maker and Apprentice to a Butcher in Tuscany Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Length: 338 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

"It's a brilliant book, a high-brow kitchen soap opera" (Daily Telegraph)

"I lingered over every sentence like a heavily truffled risotto" (Anthony Bourdain)

"I have never read a funnier or more authentic account of the making of a serious cook. Give Mr Buford three stars" (Peter Mayle)

"A dazzling and fun account of two magnificently mad years" (Guardian)

"With an endlessly inquisitive mind writes with great humour ... I suspect it might become a kitchen classic. It deserves to" (Ray Connelly Daily Mail)

The Guardian, July 15th 2006

‘a dazzling and fun account of two magnificently mad years’.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 940 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (31 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CP5UB0M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #195,302 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was astonished when I saw the other reviews of this book. I think that Heat will appeal to anyone who is genuinely interested in cooking and, more particularly, in the history of cooking. Bill Buford starts by providing fascinating insights into the mechanics of a modern restaurant kitchen, interspersed with biographic sections on Mario Batali and Marco Pierre White. He goes on to describe his attempts at pasta making and butchery. Heat is both a memoir outlining Buford's developing obsession with cooking and a biography of Batali and White, and also a partial history of Italian cooking. All three strands are told with a journalistic and entertaining style. I honestly enjoyed the lengthy investigation into the egg's introduction into pasta-making. I believe that everyone with an interest in Italian food and restaurant cooking will enjoy this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Discouraged by the negative comments I found here I managed to locate a copy of Heat in a local library and borrowed that. Whilst I enjoyed the sections dealing with Batalli and Babbo, I thought the book came into its own when Buford made his way to Italy to round off his culinary education. His writing (and passion) reminded me of Jeffrey Steingarten.

I thoroughly enjoyed it
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me first state that I have a very strange relationship with this book. I'm from Europe and have visited New York City 5 times now. Each and every time, strangely enough, I run into Mario Batali.
The very first time I didn't know who he was. I was standing in front of a building, which apparently is the appartment where he lives near Washington Square. This figure in orange crocs came storming out of the building, hopped on a Vespa and disappeared. At that time, I was being led around the city by someone who lives there. He told me who we just saw and why that was kind of a big deal. Next time I saw him on one of those tourist buses that drive around the city , doing an interview with Anthony Bourdain which is one of my favorite people in the world. Then it was somewhere near Times square, then once more in the Village. What is going on, I thought ? Is this the universe trying to tell me something or is Mario Batali omnipresent ?

I'm also in the same life phase as Bill Buford with the same interest in cuisine. I go to culinary school as we speak. I would love to leave my desk job behind a go work in restaurant and create something of value with my bare hands. My wife thinks I'm going through a midlife crisis. I like the temporary aspect of food. You create a plate with an experience that is temporary in nature. A bit like life itself. Bill Buford wanted to know more about Batali , the man and his chain of restaurants. He asked Molto Mario if he could come work for him for free and Mario agreed and put him on the staff of Babbo's , one of the more well known Batali restaurants. That's the premise of the book. A journalist climbs the ladder within a crazy environment of a restaurant kitchen.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a charming 200 page book. After that it becomes tedious and meandering and in the end a real slog to finish. Buford's obsession for the "jus just" is funny and entertaining for about 2/3 of the story. After that it becomes mired in uninteresting anecdotes and trivia (historically when did the egg get added to the recipe for pasta is intriguing for half a page, not ten)that overcooks by many hours the final product. He is the kind of writer who thinks everything that interests him will interest you, but he is wrong. Perhaps a better writer could have pulled that off, but Buford is an editor who is writing a book about his love for cooking and in the end that distinction shows. What begins as a love letter from an obsessive becomes in the end the ramblings of a self indulgent food flaneur.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well worth reading, good Insight to the world behind providing your food and why so done would want to do this
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book suits those who are really really really into food and can cope with the minute details about the egg in pasta, how to butcher and animal and the antics in a restaurant kitchen. I found it engaging and funny and watched a chef on TV last using the stab and flick method when butchering a veal rib - it all made sense having read the book.
One for good obsessives
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Format: Hardcover
I'm staggered by the other reviews: were we reading the same book?

This was one of the best books I read all year. Halfway through it, I was phoning friends to recommend it, and have since bored countless people at parties by raving about it.

Fantastically written, laugh-out-loud funny, fascinating about a New York journalist who interviews a chef, wants to know more and starts work in a professional kitchen.

He then gets the bug; or rather, goes more than a little loopy obsessive: works nights, gives up his job, moves to Italy to learn to make pasta, comes back, moves to Italy to learn how to butcher a pig... And so one, so on.

Levels of drinking, decadence & utter, complete, insanity even Hunter S Thomson (who has a walk-on part) would be daunted by, all based on a totally absorbing discussion of food and what we have lost in terms of quality of eating and quality of life as a result. There is even the odd recipe thrown in too.

The fact is some of the best writing around doesn't hurt: fluent, vivid - and hysterical.

I agree it does go on: the last few chapters flag. And, yes, some of the historical research gets a bit dull.

But who cares: the sheer pace, vividness insight into life rarely seen and flair make it totally worth while.
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