Having read a review in the London
Times of Anthony Bourdain’s - A Cook’s Tour in search of the
perfect meal, I was inspired to read what he had to say about
my fellow countrymen, between Marco Pierre White and Gordon
Ramsay it could be true that they have reputations even more
notorious than his...
To me the word tour would suggest a continuous journey around
the globe eating at gourmet restaurants in search for that
perfect meal, but just as I was getting comfortable with Tony
in Vietnam, and enjoying his dining account of some unmentionable
item I found myself back in San Sebastien without even turning
However, that aside this book is a great read for chefs and
travelers alike. Before embarking on his quest for food, Bourdain
sets the scene for each destination - and sets the scene well.
It becomes obvious early on of his real love for Vietnam;
the place, the people and the food.
As ever his style of writing is candid and honest yet respectful
to those who create the dishes that he samples. Bourdain is
one of a few who can write in the same way that he talks.
The initial chapters contain several graphic, shocking accounts
which subside as one progresses through the book. I am not
sure if this is because he had the good fortune to witness
less as time went on, or because he decided to change his
literary focus. It is safe to say that Bourdain’s humor is
well weaved into his writing - that is until you get to the
piece on vegetarians. Vegetarians are an easy target for ridicule,
in this part of the book the non meat eaters are shown no
mercy - it is splendid!
As for his account of the British cooking scene. This section
is a little thin, with so much going on in my homeland and
so many volatile characters to write about, I thought he would
have cleaned up. It was somewhat disappointing with the exception
of his piece on Fergus Henderson. Henderson is a chef who
cooks what Bourdain describes as “un-apologetically English
food” and a man who does battle against “the Health Nazis,
Vegetarian Taliban” (read the book to get the full scoop).
To summarize I would say that the book is well worth reading,
it is light, fun and culinary descriptive. Tony’s humor shines
through and you will never think of a vegetarian the same
Read an Except on Portugal...