Anthony Bourdain’s latest tome, Medium Raw, is everything you’d expect from the outspoken, contentious chef and author. Taking to task everyone from mega food producer Cargill to his old friend, the Food Network, Bourdain continues to hold nothing back in his latest opus.
Reviews have been mixed, with Bourdain fans enjoying his usual verbose, food-filled rants, including a review from the Kansas City Star noting that the book “captures what’s really right and good about food and restaurants and the hedonistic impulse that drives us to expand our eating horizons ever beyond.”
As Bourdain remains true to his voice and opinions, a few are prominent in the writer’s crossfire. In perhaps the most discussed chapter of the book, the chef takes to task writer Alan Richman – and nearly deservedly so. Though clearly there’s been bad blood between the two for a while, Bourdain addresses a review Richman wrote slamming the chef’s former home kitchen, New York’s Brasserie Les Halles. Apparently in retaliation of comments made by Bourdain, Richman wrote a scathing review of the restaurant, recently admitting it was a written with “intention of getting even with Bourdain.” Way to prove him right, Alan.
Making his way across the country over the next few weeks to promote the book, Bourdain’s not losing sleep over reviews. In fact, it seems nearly business as usual for the world traveler.
“My publisher says he’s very happy with the way things are going. My agent says she’s very happy with the way things are going. We’ve sold out of books at two out of three events so far – so that’s usually a good sign. I’m not really in any position to tell, locked into full book tour mode, peering out at the world from inside tinted windows, green rooms, airplanes, ear pressed to a phone,” Bourdain explained in an email to Daily Blender.
“Sixty interviews in three days and another three weeks on the road to go. At this point it’s all about staying vertical, staying awake, and not fucking up – a bizarro half-life where I find myself speaking in sound bites to loved ones.”
Don’t expect any more on the whole Richman ruckus either.
“No more back and forth with Richman, though. I’m done,” says the chef. “We already look like a couple of tranny hookers having a slap fight in a parking lot.”
You can catch the No Reservations host in Green Bay, Wisconsin tonight as he winds through the Midwest over the next few days before heading to the West Coast for on-stage appearances and book signings.
Missed my recent interview with the wordsmith himself? Read it here.