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The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones Perfect Paperback – May 1, 2007

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The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones + Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook (P.S.) + Kitchen Confidential Updated Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (P.S.)
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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; Reprint edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596913606
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596913608
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this typically bold effort, Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential), like the fine chef he is, pulls together an entertaining feast from the detritus of his years of cooking and traveling. Arranged around the basic tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami (a Japanese term for a taste the defies description), this scattershot collection of anecdotes puts Bourdain's brave palate, notorious sense of adventure and fine writing on display. From the horrifying opening passages, where he joins an Arctic family in devouring a freshly slaughtered seal, to a final work of fiction, the text may disappoint those who've come to expect more honed kitchen insights from the chef. Surprisingly, though, the less substantive kitchen material Bourdain has to work from only showcases his talent for observation. This book isn't for the effete foodies Bourdain clearly despises (though they'd do well to read it). He criticizes celebrity chefs, using Rocco DiSpirito as a "cautionary tale," and commends restaurants that still serve stomach-turning if palate-pleasing dishes, such as New York's Pierre au Tunnel (now closed), which offered tête de veau, essentially "calf's face, rolled up and tied with its tongue and thymus gland." Fans of Bourdain's hunger for the edge will gleefully consume this never-boring book.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Deriving in large part from his popular series of television travelogues, Bourdain's new collection of essays breezes along. Bourdain writes as he talks--irreverently, earthily, and determinedly free of euphemism. The reader can almost hear him dragging on his cigarette between sentences. In just a few pages he lays bare the gritty, fill-those-tables economics that govern a restaurant's success without respect to the competence of its cooks. He surveys the current crop of overpublicized chefs in their trendy Las Vegas digs and finds their eateries flourishing if soulless. He fears that celebrity (and vast riches) will undo many potentially great chefs, but exceptions such as Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse confirm his faith in the higher side of his profession. Anyone who's ever dined in one of the thousands of undistinguished and indistinguishable "family" restaurants clogging the nation's highways will appreciate Bourdain's take on "Restaurant Hell." His lusty paean to the old, freewheeling Times Square of drugs, sex, and crime offers a contrarian, in-your-face riposte to New York City's touristy gentrification. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Chef, author, and raconteur Anthony Bourdain is best known for traveling the globe on his stomach, daringly consuming some of the world's most exotic dishes on his hit TV shows Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and The Layover. Somewhat notoriously, he has established himself as a professional gadfly, bête noir, advocate, social critic, and pork enthusiast, recognized for his caustic sense of humor worldwide. He is as unsparing of those things he hates, as he is evangelical about his passions.

The "chef-at-large" at New York's famed Brasserie Les Halles, Bourdain is the author of the bestselling Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, a candid, hysterical, and sometimes shocking portrait of life in restaurant kitchens that has been translated into more than 28 languages - as well as the travel journal, A Cook's Tour, 3 crime novels, a cookbook, a biography of Typhoid Mary, the bestselling graphic novel Get JIRO!, and others.

His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Times of London, Bon Appetit, Gourmet and many other publications. He has shared his insights about team building and crisis management with the Harvard Business Review. He has been profiled by CBS Sunday Morning and Nightline, and has been a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman, Morning Joe, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Charlie Rose, The Colbert Report, and Real Time with Bill Maher.

Bourdain joined the writing staff of HBO's Treme in 2011, contributing to the popular drama's restaurant storylines. He recently launched his own publishing line with Ecco, Anthony Bourdain Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. His first titles will be released in early 2013.

No Reservations, widely popular all over the world, has won two Emmy Awards, with several other nominations. 2013 will see the premiere of two new television shows hosted by Bourdain: The Taste, a cooking competition series for ABC with Nigella Lawson, and a travel docu-series for CNN.

Customer Reviews

Bourdain writes in a entertaining style and he is funny and as blunt as can be.
J. Osgood
The first thing I noticed was the way that the book read exactly like Bourdain talks, which is a good thing.
If you'd like to give someone you know that loves food a great gift, this is it.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

215 of 230 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on May 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`The Nasty Bits' by chef, novelist, and culinary bad boy TV and print journalist, Tony Bourdain is a collection of thirty-six (36) non-fiction pieces and one fictional fragment from various American and Australian English language culinary journals and other miscellaneous mags such as `Playboy' and `Rolling Stone'. The pieces are cleverly, if somewhat arbitrarily divided into six chapters, titled by the five flavors on the tongue, Salty, Sweet, Sour, Bitter, and Unami, plus `A Taste of Fiction'.

Many of the pieces are an update to the subjects Tony covers in his best known book, the memoir, `Kitchen Confidential', plus commentaries on his adventures while doing various TV shows and personal appearances since he hung up his toque as executive chef of Les Halles in New York City a few years ago. I am happy to say that while I was never very impressed by the few Bourdain pieces I read in `Gourmet', almost all of these pieces have something interesting to say to the lover of culinary gossip.

Bourdain is almost unique among the current crop of culinary celebrities. I have often seen it written that he is a better writer than he was a chef. In my reading, I think this is quite true, since I find his pieces as engaging as the very spicy memoir from Gael Greene and `almost' as literate as the writing of the great M. F. K. Fisher. His one cookbook of recipes from Les Halles is worth reading more for the way Bourdain writes about his very simple recipes than for the recipes themselves.

Bourdain's primary interest is as an iconoclast and as a guide to the dirty underbelly of the culinary world.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By KW on May 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
What do you get when an author who feels like a character out of Spinal Tap and makes an earnest attempt at food porn? Has to be Anthony Bourdain. This is a funny collection of both published and unpublished material Bourdain has done over the few years since the publication of his much talked about book Kitchen Confidential.It is rude, irreverent and honest and will make you wish he didn't wait so damn long to publish again. Be warned though if you take offense easily at vulgarity, don't have a sense of humor or adventure this is not a good book to start with or maybe read at all. Those who are familiar with Chef Bourdain's style of writing and have seen his show No Reservations on the Travel Channel will no doubt enjoy this collection.
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4 of 0 people found the following review helpful By KDMask VINE VOICE on April 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband devours all sorts of cooking books. He is also a fan of Bourdain's Travel Channel pieces. This book is a great way to experience his humor and critiques at your leisure. Bourdain goes beyond the expected and lets you see the underbelly of kitchens and chefs. I have seen some of the exact stories on "No Reservations" and appreciated reading more indepth thoughts from the man himself. Stopping to taste local food is a favorite, as are the stories about the 'little guys' that actually are behind the more famous chefs' restaurants. (Every single chef in a popular French restaurant is Mexican for example).

If you'd like to give someone you know that loves food a great gift, this is it. And on another note, if you ever get a chance to see Bourdain's show about Lebanon, take a gander because it's brilliant!
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73 of 82 people found the following review helpful By J. V. Lewis VINE VOICE on June 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Art-cuisine one-upsmanship is incresingly out of hand. Showcase restaurants are more and more divorced from the roots of good eating: the economical, parsimonious, and HUNGRY tradition of farm, field, and woods. When Anthony Bourdain writes, whether it be about commercial kitchens, or Bistro food, or artsy platings, or variety meats, or his adventures to the culinary hinterlands, he is always criticizing one thing: the sissifying of food [and chefs] in the art-cuisine market. He disdains the fussy, the hyper-refined, and the decorative. His criticisms in Nasty Bits are just as spot-on damning and funny as we've come to expect after reading Kitchen Confidential and The Les Halles Cookbook. He enthusiastically celebrates the simple pleasures of skillfully-prepared simple dishes, returning time and again to our hunger and our need for sustenance and flavor.

In Nasty Bits he travels the world in search of intense and intimate food adventures. He eats seal with an Inuit family, and his description is alive to the newness and immediacy of the experience. But these world travels do not, by any means, lead to an embrace of 'fusion' cuisine with all of its forced assimilations and jarring collisions. He is a food realist: he operates within the larger economy, as nearly all of us do, but with a real regard for the basic dishes that evolved out of specific places before refrigeration and multinationals. Without indulging in specious pseudo-intellectual arguments, pro or con, as so many food writers-cum-cultural critics do, he references appetite and taste. These are certainly the first and second reasons we eat.

What he disparages so eloquently are all the OTHER reasons we eat: to impress, to be seen, to scratch the itch of dilettantism, to celebrate our wealth, etc.
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