If you’re a fan of Anthony Bourdain, you’ve read his previous books, you’ve seen him on No Reservations, and you might even have checked out his crime novels. You might not, however, have read Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook. This book is Tony Bourdain’s newest book, a collection of essays about cooking his travels and lots of reflections on both food and life. If you’ve read his other works, you know what to expect: great descriptions of food and people, an irreverent tone, and a no b.s. style. You’ll get that, but this book has a little bite more to offer than just more of the same.
This book features essasy that are a little more introspective and, perhaps, a little bit deeper overall than some of Bourdain’s other works. This isn’t a bad thing. You still get interesting stories and engaging writing, but you also get a look at what went on behind the scenes when he was just starting out on TV, what happened when he ran into Sandra Lee at a party, and strategies to try and turn a kid off of eating McDonalds food. The book has a very honest feel to it, which makes the author seem both more real and more likeable – adding even more dimension to his character as opposed to rehashing the content from his previous writings.
Medium Raw may have been written by a slightly older and wiser author, with a little bit more life experience and a lot more global travel under his belt, but at its core it still has the same spirit as some of his previous works. The essays are still full of wit and dry humor, and Bourdain still has strong opinons on cooking, food and everything related to food. Without giving away too much of waht’s inside, the bottom line is that it is a fun read with compelling stories and lots of “food for thought” thrown into the mix. It’s a worthwhile book for foodies and should easily make the holiday wish list of Bourdain fans.