The full title of this book is Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford. Without previous experience in the food business, Buford enters first the food and restaurant business in New York City by working at Mario Batali’s Babbo, and secondly a less capitalist view of food in Italy in the second half as the apprentice butcher. The book is funny, light and interesting. There are a lot of distinct characters in this book. The first half of the book draws similarities to Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain as it shows you the harshness that is the restaurant business. For my love of food, I have never wanted to be a professional chef or cook. My dad is a cook, and it was not a profession he chose for himself at first. He’s been doing it for thirty years, and he is very ready for semi-retirement. Knowing this, I became invested in Buford and felt good when he felt accomplished.
The book takes a different and dare I say, more introspective turn in the second half with the apprenticeship in Italy. Maybe it’s because I love travel books as much as food books or travel in general forces different perspectives for the writer, but there are even more unique characters and stories from Tuscany. The second half reads more like a Bill Bryson travelogue. I did enjoy Buford’s style, and the ending hints at a sequel in France. While Batali and a number of personalities in the book are anti-French, I’m a francophile so I very much excited at the prospect of reading Buford again en France.
Appetizer – List 3 emotions you experienced this week.
Futility. Frustration. Fatigue.
Soup – Name a car youâ€™d love to have.
I’m a bad driver, but I do know cars even if I don’t want to own one: a Mini Cooper. I like Citroens too even though they aren’t sold in North America. I actually like the Toyoto Prius as it is a hybrid.
Salad – Describe your typical morning routine.
I’m a pretty simple girl: I get up, get dressed, wash my face, brush my teeth, moisturize, eat brunch/breakfast. Check my email. Yeah, not exactly worlds shattering.
Main Course – Have you ever emailed someone famous?Â If so, who, and what did you say to them?Â Did they reply?
No, I have not emailed anyone famous. I’m pretty shy about these things, and there are few famous I need to email frankly.
Dessert – Do you listen to podcasts?Â If so, which ones?
Yes, I listen to Savage Love, Grammar Girl, Mr Manners, Style.com video podcasts during the fashion weeks, Doctor Who Season 3 when they are interesting (pretty rare this season), and when I remember, BBC World News and Radio France Internationale. I use to listen to the Word of the Day, but not so much.
Off to bed now. Hmm, Grey’s Anatomy sucks now. I’ll write my book review after I wake up. Library trip today, and more reading.