Books

Books: Anthony Bourdain: The Last Interview and Other Conversations

I recently stumbled upon The Last Interview book series, which features the last publicized interview of late celebrities as well as a variety of other interesting interviews and conversations. Of course the first one I was drawn to was Anthony Bourdain’s. I have long enjoyed Bourdain’s writing style and television shows.

I know it sounds weird, but when he died in 2018, it felt like more than just another celebrity death. I knew I would miss his work, his voice, and his occasional snarky comments. It felt a little like losing a friend.

(Image from amazon.com)

Bourdain was long an advocate of the importance of people understanding where their food comes from as well as the integral role food plays in defining our cultures. Reading this dialogue between him and various interviewers reminded me why I loved his work so much. It is about food and interesting people, but also about so much more.

There are more than a dozen Last Interview books featuring everyone from Kurt Vonnegut to Prince. Also featured are Toni Morrison, David Bowie, and, coming soon, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. These are interesting, fairly quick reads that give us one more look into the lives of these icons.

Books

Book Thoughts: Kitchen Confidential

I have felt a little lost when it comes to book selection this summer. When watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown a few weeks ago, I remembered I have never read his book Kitchen Confidential.

I loved Bourdain’s book Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook. He won me over with the over-the-top adventurous foodie story of dining on Ortolan, a rare small bird illegal to eat in most countries. His description of himself and a group of other world-renowned chefs eating the Ortolan, which are traditionally consumed whole, beak and all, took my breath away.

If you think I wouldn’t try Ortolan if given the chance, you apparently have never seen me eat freshly harvested Rocky Mountain oysters cooked on the branding iron fire.

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(Image from amazon.com)

These tales of the restaurant industry makes me so glad I have never worked in that field. It also makes me realize why so many chefs develop drug and alcohol problems.

Bourdain writes that he has stayed in the rough and exhausting industry because he loves everything about food. I do, too, but I prefer to experience it as a diner and a terrible cook. This is an interesting read and might just make you be thankful for the career field you chose, whatever that might be.