Saturday, May 23, 2015

Medium Raw - Review

Rating: 4.5 Stars
Source: Library (audio)

Description:  A look into the world of food from both insider and outsider Anthony Bourdain.  10 years after the success of Kitchen Confidential Bourdain is back with a different perspective and a very different life.  He touches on his personal life, his success, Food Network and a host of other chefs.

Genre: Memoir 

Why I Picked This Book: I got to like Bourdain while watching The Taste and was curious about this book.

My Impression:
Pro: My initial impression of Bourdain just off of TV appearances is that he's brash, loud mouth, crass and to be honest kind of an ass.  After listening to this book I don't think my initial impression was wrong but I think there's a lot more to be said for him.  He's also incredibly honest about everything around him including himself.  There are parts in this book where he comes off as smug or hypocritical but just as I'm beginning to think that he calls himself on it but with such a good humor it's likable.  I got a little teary-eyed in sections and the chapter on Alice Waters made me laugh until I cried.  He doesn't like Alice as well as a few other chefs but he's also able to point out their good points or at least the good they have achieved.  He's able to take a look at himself and why certain things bother him so much without coming off as full of self-pity or jealously.  This is an interesting look at Bourdain himself, the business he's built and the food world around him.

Con: There's not a real focus to this book and so some chapters can get a little long.  There's a chapter where he discusses heroes and villains that goes on too long and then he jumps to a chapter about his daughter.

Overall: Despite some ramblings I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Like gave my kitchen an unplanned deep clean so I could keep listening kind of enjoyment.  He definitely doesn't pull his punches or watch his language but he is as much a target as anyone else.  If you're all interested in the world of food or are intrigued by Bourdain himself this is not to be missed.  The audio is read by Bourdain and is very well done.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely!  After reading this I'm curious about Kitchen Confidential which I never read.

Would I Recommend this Book?:  Yes.  I think any foodie person would enjoy this.

Challenges Met? Library Challenge, Foodie Reads

I'm linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads


  1. Bourdain is so entertaining... just love his audiobooks!

  2. I've never thought about reading one of his books. That being said, it sounds like this one might be fun and possibly also Kitchen Confidential. I'll think about it. :-)

  3. Interesting to hear your thoughts about Bourdain -- and how some of your feelings about him changed after listening to this book. I'm curious now to read his opinions about Alice Waters. :)

  4. I've been meaning to read that one, despite hearing mixed reviews.

  5. I have tea everything Bourdain has written with the exception of his fiction. I was sad that his 20+ year marriage to Nancy disintegrated and yes, he is a big mouth, but he is entertaining and a good writer.

  6. I really enjoyed this and Kitchen Confidential. Despite his flaws, there is a lot to admire about him.

  7. I might give this a go. I liked Kitchen confidential but not his next book so much. Cheers from carole's chatter

  8. I listened to Kitchen Confidential on audio, I think, but I never read anything else by him. I didn't know he had written any fiction, though!

  9. I really liked Kitchen Confidential so I'll probably get to this one eventually.

  10. I really liked Kitchen Confidential so I'll probably get to this one eventually.