Dodging minefields in Cambodia, diving into the icy waters outside a Russian bath, Chef Bourdain travels the world over in search of the ultimate meal.
The only thing Anthony Bourdain loves as much as cooking is traveling, and A Cook’s Tour is the shotgun marriage of his two greatest passions. Inspired by the question, ‘What would be the perfect meal?’, Anthony sets out on a quest for his culinary holy grail.
Our adventurous chef starts out in Japan, where he eats traditional Fugu, a poisonous blowfish which can be prepared only by specially licensed chefs. He then travels to Cambodia, up the mine-studded road to Pailin into autonomous Khmer Rouge territory and to Phnom Penh’s Gun Club, where local fare is served up alongside a menu of available firearms. In Saigon, he’s treated to a sustaining meal of live Cobra heart before moving on to savor a snack with the Viet Cong in the Mecong Delta. Further west, Kitchen Confidential fans will recognize the Gironde of Tony’s youth, the first stop on his European itinerary. And from France, it’s on to Portugal, where an entire village has been fattening a pig for months in anticipation of his arrival. And we’re only halfway around the globe. . .
A Cook’s Tour recounts, in Bourdain’s inimitable style, the adventures and misadventures of America’s favorite chef.
A Cook’s Tour is the written record of Anthony Bourdain’s travels around the world in his search for the perfect meal. All too conscious of the state of his 44-year-old knees after a working life standing at restaurant stoves, but with the unlooked-for jackpot of Kitchen Confidential as collateral, Mr. Bourdain evidently concluded he needed a bit more wind under his wings.The idea of “perfect meal” in this context is to be taken to mean not necessarily the most upscale, chi-chi, three-star dining experience, but the ideal combination of food, atmosphere, and company. This would take in fishing villages in Vietnam, bars in Cambodia, and Tuareg camps in Morocco (roasted sheep’s testicle, as it happens); it would stretch to smoked fish and sauna in the frozen Russian countryside and the French Laundry in California’s Napa Valley. It would mean exquisitely refined kaiseki rituals in Japan after yakitori with drunken salarymen. Deep-fried Mars Bars in Glasgow and Gordon Ramsay in London. The still-beating heart of a cobra in Saigon. Drink. Danger. Guns. All with a TV crew in tow for the accompanying series–22 episodes of video gold, we are assured, featuring many don’t-try-this-at-home shots of the author in gastric distress or crawling into yet another storm drain at four in the morning.You are unlikely to lay your hands on a more hectically, strenuously entertaining book for some time. Our hero eats and swashbuckles round the globe with perfect-pitch attitude and liberal use of judiciously placed profanities. Bourdain can write. His timing is great. He is very funny and is under no illusions whatsoever about himself or anyone else. But most of all, he is a chef who got himself out of his kitchen and found, all over the world, people who understand that eating well is the foundation of harmonious living. –Robin Davidson, Amazon.co.uk
About the Author
Anthony Bourdain is the author of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, which spent 14 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list, and the Urban Historical Typhoid Mary. His mystery novels include Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo. He is the executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in New York City.
Love Anthony Bourdain. I love his writing style. It’s like his is speaking. You can hear his voice in your head as you read the book. This book is just like his show and it is strait up FOOD PORN of the Highest quality. If you like Anthony Bourdain and his shows and if love food, this book is for you. I I HIGHLY recommend this book for ALL Bohemian foodies everywhere.
This book, like most of Anthony Bourdain’s books, spares no one, not even himself, By the time this book was written, I was watching his show on CNN, Parts Unknown. I have seen many of the shows this book is written about, but, trust me, getting his final word about the show off-camera makes it even more . . . meaningful, hilarious . . . choose your own adjective. I find myself looking for other books he has written. I started reading him with his biography of “Typhoid” Mary. I was interested in her as I am a microbiologist, first spending my working years in enteric bacteriology. His book was a well-thought out tome, and I could understand how a cook would also be interested in such a personality. His other books about cooking are more autobiographies, and they are equally interesting. If you like his show on CNN, you’ll probably really love his books.
“A Cook’s Tour” by the wonderfully worldly and well-traveled Anthony Bourdain, is a book about food like no other, and it is simultaneously entertaining, exciting, and revolting. Tony travels the world in search of the perfect meal; it’s an exciting quest for any chef to ponder, but along the way he comes across numerous local delicacies that can be best described as only for the strong of heart. Although he encounters several problems with dishes from around the world (the Mexican sautéed ant eggs and Scottish deep-fried haggis with curry sauce and deep fried egg stand out), the most stunning for my money are the things he eats in Asia, and especially Vietnam. I for one would not be able to eat the traditional Vietnamese breakfast of soft-boiled duck embryo complete with feathers, followed by a steaming bowl of “chao muk”, a hearty soup made from ginger, sprouts, cilantro, shrimp, squid, chives, pork-blood cake, and croutons; later Tony enjoyed some braised bat (“imagine braised inner tube, sauced with engine coolant”). Even worse than that, though, is the concept of eating a still-beating cobra heart, after a very special snake disemboweling ceremony. While Vietnam takes the proverbial cake, the book features other gastronomic nightmares from around the globe, with Japan coming in second in the contest for unusual and disturbing foodstuffs. The foodie tour of Japan started out benignly enough, with an appetizer of “amuse-gueule of hoshigaka goma-an” (dried persimmon and fried soy curd with sesame paste), but quickly progressed to things like “suppon-dofu” (a soft-shell turtle in egg pudding with green onion and turtle broth), and culminated in the classic and beloved Japanese delicacy, “natto”, which Bourdain describes as “an unbelievably foul, rank, slimy, glutinous, and stringy goop of fermented soybeans”. After the natto, Bourdain finished with a dish described as “mountain potato”: of this he said, “I could only handle a single taste. To this day, I have no idea what it really was…. The small, dark, chewy nugget can only be described as tasting like salt-cured, sun-dried goat rectum”. Throughout the book, Bourdain maintains his wry, sarcastic sense of humor, possibly as a survival tool to get him through his next meal. He mocks a vegan potluck dinner as the “real heart of darkness”, discusses fabled and exotic foods such as the unbelievably rank durian fruit, and always manages to do it while being respectful of local traditions and cultures very different from his existence in New York City. This is a great book for anyone interested in foods and cultures of the world, and I recommend it highly!
- Title: A Cook’s Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal
- Autor: Anthony Bourdain
- Publisher (Publication Date): Bloomsbury USA; 1st edition (December 7, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: | 0060012781
- ISBN-13: | 978-0060012786
- Download File Format: EPUB, PDF