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Heat

An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany

By Bill Buford

(28)

| Hardcover | 9781400041206

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Book Description

Bill Buford—author of the highly acclaimed best-selling Among the Thugs—had long thought of himself as a reasonably comfortable cook when in 2002 he finally decided to answer a question that had nagged him every time he prepared Continue

Bill Buford—author of the highly acclaimed best-selling Among the Thugs—had long thought of himself as a reasonably comfortable cook when in 2002 he finally decided to answer a question that had nagged him every time he prepared a meal: What kind of cook could he be if he worked in a professional kitchen? When the opportunity arose to train in the kitchen of Mario Batali’s three-star New York restaurant, Babbo, Buford grabbed it. Heat is the chronicle—sharp, funny, wonderfully exuberant—of his time spent as Batali’s “slave” and of his far-flung apprenticeships with culinary masters in Italy.

In a fast-paced, candid narrative, Buford describes the frenetic experience of working in Babbo’s kitchen: the trials and errors (and more errors), humiliations and hopes, disappointments and triumphs as he worked his way up the ladder from slave to cook. He talks about his relationships with his kitchen colleagues and with the larger-than-life, hard-living Batali, whose story he learns as their friendship grows through (and sometimes despite) kitchen encounters and after-work all-nighters.

Buford takes us to the restaurant in a remote Appennine village where Batali first apprenticed in Italy and where Buford learns the intricacies of handmade pasta . . . the hill town in Chianti where he is tutored in the art of butchery by Italy’s most famous butcher, a man who insists that his meat is an expression of the Italian soul . . . to London, where he is instructed in the preparation of game by Marco Pierre White, one of England’s most celebrated (or perhaps notorious) chefs. And throughout, we follow the thread of Buford’s fascinating reflections on food as a bearer of culture, on the history and development of a few special dishes (Is the shape of tortellini really based on a woman’s navel? And just what is a short rib?), and on the what and why of the foods we eat today.

Heat is a marvelous hybrid: a richly evocative memoir of Buford’s kitchen adventure, the story of Batali’s amazing rise to culinary (and extra-culinary) fame, a dazzling behind-the-scenes look at the workings of a famous restaurant, and an illuminating exploration of why food matters.

It is a book to delight in—and to savor.

4 Reviews

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  • 1 person finds this helpful

    My TweetReview: Heat by Bill Buford: an interesting travel inside the American idea of Italian Food Culture from a wanna be chef perspective #52books1year

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    Cimny said on Feb 3, 2012 | Add your feedback

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    I like the personalities, the food wisdom, perspective, and humor. Not so great were the passages where Buford tries to write scholarly history. It's 30% too long, but I recommend it.

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    Leebeck said on Feb 29, 2008 | Add your feedback

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    LOVED IT!!

    absolutely loved loved loved this book~!!! so funny... so entertaining. Couldn't put it down. I'd recommend it to anyone who loves food and cooking.

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    ahka said on Aug 9, 2007 | Add your feedback

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    這一本書有點像是Mario Batali和他的餐廳的半自傳,
    是完全沒有專業廚師經驗的作者在Babbo廚房學習的過程.
    當中描述許多Mario Batali成長, 即成為廚師的過程. 內容有許多飲食文化進展, 紐約餐廳後台作業的描述, 蠻有趣的.

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    Annie Weng said on Jul 18, 2007 | Add your feedback

Book Details

  • Rating:
    (28)
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  • English Books
  • Hardcover 336 Pages
  • ISBN-10: 1400041201
  • ISBN-13: 9781400041206
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • Publish date: 2006-05-30
  • Dimensions: 258 mm x 1,096 mm x 1,547 mm
  • Also available as: Paperback , Audio CD , Audio Cassette , eBook
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