Feb 21, 2020
Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany
Posted by Bill Buford

Bill Buford author of the highly acclaimed best selling Among the Thugs had long thought of himself as a reasonably comfortable cook when in 2002 he finally decided to answer a question that had nagged him every time he prepared a meal What kind of cook could he be if he worked in a professional kitchen When the opportunity arose to train in the kitchen of Mario Batali sBill Buford author of the highly acclaimed best selling Among the Thugs had long thought of himself as a reasonably comfortable cook when in 2002 he finally decided to answer a question that had nagged him every time he prepared a meal What kind of cook could he be if he worked in a professional kitchen When the opportunity arose to train in the kitchen of Mario Batali s three star New York restaurant, Babbo, Buford grabbed it Heat is the chronicle sharp, funny, wonderfully exuberant of his time spent as Batali s slave and of his far flung apprenticeships with culinary masters in Italy.In a fast paced, candid narrative, Buford describes the frenetic experience of working in Babbo s kitchen the trials and errors and errors , humiliations and hopes, disappointments and triumphs as he worked his way up the ladder from slave to cook He talks about his relationships with his kitchen colleagues and with the larger than life, hard living Batali, whose story he learns as their friendship grows through and sometimes despite kitchen encounters and after work all nighters Buford takes us to the restaurant in a remote Appennine village where Batali first apprenticed in Italy and where Buford learns the intricacies of handmade pasta the hill town in Chianti where he is tutored in the art of butchery by Italy s most famous butcher, a man who insists that his meat is an expression of the Italian soul to London, where he is instructed in the preparation of game by Marco Pierre White, one of England s most celebrated or perhaps notorious chefs And throughout, we follow the thread of Buford s fascinating reflections on food as a bearer of culture, on the history and development of a few special dishes Is the shape of tortellini really based on a woman s navel And just what is a short rib , and on the what and why of the foods we eat today.Heat is a marvelous hybrid a richly evocative memoir of Buford s kitchen adventure, the story of Batali s amazing rise to culinary and extra culinary fame, a dazzling behind the scenes look at the workings of a famous restaurant, and an illuminating exploration of why food matters It is a book to delight in and to savor.

  • Title: Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany
  • Author: Bill Buford
  • ISBN: 9781400041206
  • Page: 415
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Heat An Amateur s Adventures as Kitchen Slave Line Cook Pasta Maker and Apprentice to a Dante Quoting Butcher in Tuscany Bill Buford author of the highly acclaimed best selling Among the Thugs had long thought of himself as a reasonably comfortable cook when in he finally decided to answer a question that had nagge

    Kim

    I had mixed feelings on this one It started out swimmingly I was howling with laughter as the author detailed the highs including the extracurricular highs and the lows of the Babbo employment experience I was shocked in a highly amused way by the author s description of Batali Surely, the soft spoken, well mannered guy I cheer for on Iron Chef America could not be telling his servers to pistol whip unruly customers with their unmentionables behind Babbo s closed doors If true, as a former barte [...]


    Valerie

    I started reading Heat without any prior knowledge of Mario Batali I d never cooked from any of his cookbooks, or seen his show That said, the book was an interesting look at his life an absolutely crazy one filled with gluttony, extreme restaurant hours and seemingly never ending partying.But the focus of the book is not only Batali although he steals the show, in my opinion Actually written by Bill Buford about his time spent in one of Batali s restaurant kitchens Babbo in NYC , Heat also tell [...]


    Petra X

    I read this book last year and it was deleted from my booklist by Who naturally say this couldn t happen, I must have deleted it myself I ve never been able to prove before that the book was on my booklist until this one It s not on my list yet I read it, and I wrote a comment last October on a friend s, Karen s review I just came across this comment today The bit about eating pure pork fat close to the beginning really put me off It doesn t matter what fancy name you call it, nor that the pig a [...]


    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    I have to admit I picked this up because Anthony Bourdain was reading it on his show No Reservations and he wrote Kitchen Confidential This is the story of an editor for the New Yorker who ends up in the kitchens of Mario Batali it is an encounter of his experiences in the kitchen, plus a biography of Mario, plus a history of food all at the same time I really enjoyed this It took me back to my restaurant days, expressing the outrageous kitchen culture that you would not believe if you hadn t ex [...]


    Alex Givant

    Excellent book showing what it takes to become a cook Loved his dedication to get skill from different place like his multiple trips to the butcher shop in Italy , his humor getting 225 lbs pig to Manhattan apartment in elevator I would recommend this book to anybody who wants to understand how much work the good cook put in long shifts, endless trying to perfect cooking techniques and what is food about like his search of who first put eggs into pasta I loved his idea of small food vs big food [...]


    Anna

    Most food writing is shit It wallows in superlatives as brazenly as real estate hustings But really good writing about food makes the heart soar.This is in the second category Partially because Buford is so craven, so desperate to GET what it is like being young, dumb and full of come in a kitchen stuffed with wise asses and borderline personality disorders than the average martini olive.Lots of guys take up lycra and the bike for their mid life thingo Or get expensive mistresses Or foreign car [...]


    Amanda Wilkins

    A must read for foodies and Slow Foodies In one passage of the book, Bill Buford becomes preoccupied with researching when, in the long history of food on the Italian peninsula, cooks started putting eggs into their pasta dough He decides to go on a quest to Italy and meets with the cook at La Volta, a small restaurant in the town of Porretta Terme Mario Batali lived and worked here during an internship before going to New York and opening Babbo He considers the cook, Betta, and all the others a [...]


    Andrew

    i got this to read on the airplane, and it did an admirable job for that precise purpose but there s one thing that s a real problem for this book About halfway through, he ends a chapter saying he has to leave New York to deal with personal demons Fine But he never mentions what they are were And the book is all under the guise of a kind of memoir If he s not going to tell the reader what those demons are, don t use it as a cliffhanger enticement to keep reading Not only is it supremely annoyin [...]


    Rebecca

    Wow, I enjoyed this way than I expected On than one occasion I ate lunch in my car so I could keep listening Hilarious, insightful, and mouth watering Buford s taste in food is just a bit different from mine I can t count the pounds of lardo that he consumes over the telling but his journey feels very kindred Amateur cook learns skills, travels to Italy, appreciates homemade traditional food Except he happens to be completely obsessive and surrounded by larger than life characters and a writer [...]


    Sera

    Outstanding on audio.Over the last couple of years, I have been reading my way through some of the well known cooking books, which tend to be memoir than actual cooking Kitchen Confidential Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, Yes, Chef and Blood, Bones, and Butter The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef come to mind Much of the writing is about the lives of these chefs and how they started cooking Then it follows their restaurant careers and the success that they have today Don t get [...]


    Meghan

    As food critic said about Babbo, I say about this book, I would have given it four stars butI felt that the story lagged when he worked with the Butcher in Tuscany But some of the most hilarious adventures happened there too I had concerns.The other was that my apron, which was floor length, would catch on fire I rehearsed in my mind the possible scenario The apron is secured around the waist with a string belt.So that was the first thing untie it If I didn t, it could be ugly I pictured myself [...]


    Catherine

    I loved this book a whole lot and warn that should you tackle it, please do so with a large amount of red wine and italian food readily available Much like it s torture to watch Chocolat without chocolate, it would be rude not to eat pasta and drink red wine while this book s in your life.The book s an amalgamation of many things I love cooking, peeking behind the scenes at famous restaurants, drinking wine, contemplating where food does and should come from Buford spent just over a year slowly [...]


    Margaret

    A terrific reading of a hugely entertaining book The very long title pretty much summarizes the gist Mr Buford, a writer and editor, finagles a job working in Chef Mario Batali s NYC restaurant, Babbo, starting as lowly, brow beaten kitchen prep, and proceeds, without any real ambition, to work his way up, somewhat, in the kitchen hierarchy This stretch of the book will be familiar to anyone who has read Anthony Bourdain s Kitchen Confidential, both in terms of restaurant and cooking detail plus [...]


    Judy

    Bill Buford is an editor who determines to find out what it would be like to work in a professional kitchen Fortunately, he gets the opportunity to find out when he meets Food Network chef, Mario Batali at a baseball game This book details the stressful world of preparing 3 star meals It is complete with depiction of kitchen prejudice, snobbery, recipes and than you ever wanted to know about what goes into meal prep I found the audio version of this book entertaining, informational and hilariou [...]


    JK

    episodic but unified zippy and makes you want to get on the line or at least get up and start some Italian home cooking of your own he says as he starts making pasta


    Tom Carrico

    Book ReviewHeat by Bill BufordReviewed by Tom CarricoBill Buford is a former editor of the The New Yorker magazine, founding editor of Granta magazine and publisher of Granta Books His hobby was cooking He cooked for friends and business associates and on one occasion for the renowned chef Mario Batali That occasion prompted Mr Buford to quit his job at The New Yorker and sign on as an unpaid intern at Batali s three star Italian restaurant Babbo in New York City This book is part memoir of that [...]


    Moira Burke

    Bill Buford likes to surround himself with histrionic people, whose antics frequently cross the line into violence First, it was the soccer hooligans Now it s three star NY chef Mario Batali and Italian butcher Dario Cecchini You can imagine Buford and Batali, into their fifth bottle of wine in a dim New York hot spot at three in the morning, Buford regaling the imbecilic escapades of the Man United fans in the eighties, and Batali savoring and interrupting every detail Not content with his job [...]


    Carol

    When I first started this book, I asked my friend Jen what she thought of it Not much, apparently she didn t find the author compelling It was just boring, even for an amateur cook like me He describes things like when egg was first introduced as an ingredient in pasta that he says most people would not be interested in, and then goes on and on ad nauseum about them If you know they are not interesting to people, then why go into detail about them It is odd that he was an editor for The New York [...]


    Christin

    Let me preface this review with a disclaimer, I am not a foodie I am an eater My only interest in food typically is how it tastes, not its journey from field to slaughterhouse to restaurant to the particulars of preparation to my plate to my stomach, but Buford might have changed my perspective His literary historical perspective on Tuscan food, his wild, uproarious tales from the life of Mario Batali and the Babbo kitchen, and his engaging portraits of food culture in Italia, were thoroughly en [...]


    Robin

    THIS IS A FAVORITE I read this book on vacation and it completely altered my state of mind I was transported into the world of a commercial kitchen, and then to Italy for historic preparation of handmade pasta Bill Buford is a delightful author, funny and a little insane.Only two complaints about this book First, I was disgusted when he went to work for a butcher and, in great detail, described his new expertise I sped read through that chapter, but I ve eaten primarily vegetarian for than 20 y [...]


    Siobhan Fallon

    Some of this book is amazing, but I found it uneven as a whole I picked it up because I was curious about Mario Batali, but the Batali of this book is the least interesting character of all The final chapters, when Bill Buford goes to Italy to apprentice with a butcher, are absolutely gorgeous Bill Buford was an editor at the New Yorker and his breath of knowledge shows He is best when discussing Italy, everything from the making of tortellini and the rumor that they are modeled after the pasta [...]


    Sean

    Food as a business an artform an intellectual interest a link to the soil a tenuous and evocative link to the pastplus recipes of a sort, since recipes are for home cooks, we learn for linguine with clams, the tuscan version of beef bourginion, and mario batali is a foul mouthed drunk who loves the ladies restaurant kitchens are no place for the myth and mystery of food e.g the 29 bowl of peasant soup made from scraps dried pasta served at high end italian restaurantsbuford is a fine writer, an [...]


    Laurel

    Well, I love the premise of this book, and I began it with gusto insert lame gastronomy joke here , but it became a little too detailed and meandering in parts for me and I lost interest.I was really excited by Buford s accounts of working in the kitchen at Babbo, a restaurant I used to walk by, gaze longingly towards, but never ate at It sort of read like a long New Yorker article, which makes sense, and is a good thing, but began to wear thin when Buford travels to Italy See Valerie s review I [...]


    Jennifer

    I enjoyed the descriptions of food and of Italy, but I frequently found myself comparing Buford s self assigned temporary experience as a journalist turned culinary kind of person to Bordain s authentic experience as an actual chef inKitchen Confidential Overall, I preferred Bordain s account of the fast and furious culinary lifestyle.


    Karen

    This book really helped me to appreciate the restaurant industry and Italian culinary history and culture Things I learned 1 Mario Batali is a disgusting man 2 Restaurant work is rough 3 Italians are awesome 4 Pork is gross.


    Jeremy

    I had a lot of fun with this A good exploration of food and cooking It probably could have been trimmed down quite a bit, but I won t hold that against it.


    Allyson

    If you like cooking, if you like eating, if you like great writing, you ll love this book.


    Dolly

    I don t think I would ever have picked this book out for myself, but it was the March selection for my book club, so I thought I would give it a shot It has the trappings of a man s version of the first third of Eat, Pray, Love, but involves a lot slicing and dicing To be honest, it was a bit of a slog to get through, but I persisted and gleaned a few small nuggets of wisdom I also learned about a semi famous fifteenth century chef who just might have some connection to my hubby s family I doub [...]


    Gina

    I liked this memoir, but didn t love it The first half pulled me right in with tales of Mario Batali and his excesses, bizarre behavior and volatile temperament He s definitely not in real life what you see on Molto Mario I used to think I d like to work with him but now, I m not so sure Being an old restaurant head from way back as well as Italian, the history of food and culture of Italy were quite interesting in the beginning, but got to be a little much after the second half of the book star [...]


    Marcie Baeza-Sauer

    I enjoyed this book because I like reading about food and restaurants However, I think the book would ve benefited from focusing on his time with Batali and in the Babbo kitchen specifically The second half of the book that takes place in Italy was interesting but I found myself wishing for less history and cooking.



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