If thereís anything we girls like more than a ruggedly handsome bad boy, itís a ruggedly handsome bad boy who can cook. And, if thereís anything we like more than a ruggedly handsome bad boy who can cook, itís a ruggedly handsome bad boy who can cook and write. Perhaps thatís why Iíve long been smitten with Anthony Bourdain, the caustic, hilarious chef who burst onto the scene some time ago with the bracing tell-all Kitchen Confidential.Ē
Clearly, the man knows from food. But he isnít some effete gourmand, delicately preparing a Bernaise sauce in a well-appointed kitchen to the strains of classical music. No, heís a real man. A hard-rock loving, booze swilling, cursing man who isnít afraid to tuck into some seal blubber with a family of Inuits or traverse Singapore looking for the best street food. The writerís tireless desire for a good time and a good meal is on full display in The Nasty Bits, Bourdainís latest collection of essays and articles (plus one piece of short fiction).
The pieces in this book are eclectic Ė bashing the fast-food industry, skewering the raw food craze, dissecting the cuisine of Brazil, Singapore and Las Vegas. Through it all, Bourdainís wit and way with words are evident. Unlike the more conventionally ďculturedĒ food writers, Bourdain is kind of exciting to read. He makes food seem dangerous. Perhaps thatís because almost all of his stories involve him getting drunk over some exotic dish in a foreign locale. But thatís what makes him great Ė his bravado and the lusty way he describes his world.
Heís great fun, and The Nasty Bits represents him at his very best.