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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it is still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines Paperback – November 5, 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 236 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From AudioFile

If anyone could sell you on the idea of drinking cobra bile, it's this flamboyant chef. His con gusto reading of his second book (the first was KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL) may alternately delight and dismay you. As he eats and drinks his way around the globe, Bourdain describes the slaughter of a pig in Portugal with almost the same enthusiasm as he has for the makings of near ideal repasts in Vietnam or the Napa Valley. Nothing about his reporting is half-baked; he bestows praise (upon Scotland's native foods) and disdain (upon vegans) with equal vigor. So much of his personality comes through that you can't imagine anyone else in the performing role. The abridged itinerary jumps from one continent to another--more pauses would help. Not for the faint of heart--or stomach. J.B.G. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Food Writer of the Year (Bon Appétit)

“[Bourdain] is a one-man army traveling the world on his stomach--and his droll wit.” (People)

“None of your limp-wristed, pinch-mouthed, hoity-toity delicacies for this guy.” (Elle)

“Bourdain’s mission is to show the cool, un-Martha side of the culinary world.” (Time magazine)

“Mighty engaging.... [Bourdain’s] snappy, full-bore writing style--whether being sarcastic, passionate, or descriptive--is good entertainment.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Adventurous and opinionated, [Bourdain] is very good company.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

“Brilliant. A chain-smoking, hard-drinking, cut-to-the-chase guy’s guy, ready to try anything new and different.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

“Some fine food adventure reading…. Bourdain offers excellent insight into real food.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“If you’re looking for a camel ride and an amiable companion, you could do a lot worse.” (Washington Post)

“Vintage Bourdain.” (Dallas Morning News)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (November 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060012781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060012786
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
The colossal irony of the Food Network series on which this book is based is the heart felt statements in the author's previous book `Kitchen Confidential' that he will never get his own Food Network series. He goes on in that book to say some rather unflattering things about Emeril Lagasse that seem to be a guarantee that his prediction will come true.
Well, Anthony Bourdain got his own Food Network show, and it is, to my lights, the most enjoyable travelogue style show they have ever done. I will warrant the prediction that it will also be the most enjoyable travelogue show they will ever do. I think the original 16 to 18 episodes are even better than the `second season' episodes he did which were not in this book. In the follow-up episodes, Bourdain (or his handlers) tend to start parodying themselves and make more coy, self-referential statements such as the cute business when Tony is in New Orleans and he gets slugged by matronly women for dissing their favorite son, Emeril.
In case you are not familiar with the Bourdain persona, I can quote a local paper's comparison to Emeril as the Food Network's star student, Alton Brown as the class nerd, and Tony Bourdain as the perennial juvenile delinquent. That is not to say Bourdain's view of things is juvenile. It is, in fact, as insightful as any other culinary commentary. The difference between Bourdain and other culinary travelers is that Bourdain is telling us about things from the inside, from the point of view of palate, tongue, nose, ears, and tummy. He is also talking from the inside in that he has been a working cook and chef for his whole life, who has seen just about everything the other culinary journalists have seen and more, including a stint at a childhood in France.
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Format: Paperback
I purchased Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour at an airport based on the recommendation of a chef who was cooking in our ski chalet. I read the two books by the time we'd returned home.

As I read the reviews here, I'm amazed by some of the negative comments. Bourdain's offensiveness, the "shock value" of the cuisine and the fact that there are no recipes in the books seem to be common points of issue. One reviewer even recommended the purchasing of Jamie Oliver's books because they have cooking information in them.

Bourdain likes to smoke, drink and use some occasional drugs. That is part of the adventure. I was laughing every time he recounted one of these stories. He's offensive, that's why he's funny and the writing is so entertaining. He also made an extraordinary number of friends in these countries (many are thanked in the notes at the end of the book) so he was hardly just trashing every foreigner he came across.

As to the "shock value", sure he ate Cobras heart and other gruesome items that clearly would "shock". But in most cases he did it because these items were regional delicacies/specialties e.g. beating cobra heart. By and large he discusses "normal" food and I found this balance extremely interesting. Tales of the seafood, soups and other dishes that he eats in Vietnam comprise the majority of those chapters, not the cobra. Get past the occasional shocking item.

I own all of Jamie Oliver's cookbooks and when I want to cook, I use those. When I want to have a bit of a laugh, Jamie Oliver's recipe for home made pasta isn't going to provide the entertainment I'm looking for. Bourdain will.

Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour are obviously not designed to be recipe books.
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By A Customer on November 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
or Mr. Bourdain would write faster. Bourdain is not afraid to try anything in the way of victuals; sometimes it's as gross to read about what he's eating as it may have been for him to consume some of these items. And his writing is extremely vivid; I've been to some of the places mentioned in this book and he's captured many details.
I've read some recent criticism of Bourdain, but I've enjoyed all of his books. He doesn't pretend to be anyone other than who he is, glorying in all of his faults, addictions (past and present), and making this reader guffaw out loud on many occasions.
So when is the TV show scheduled on The Food Network??
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Format: Hardcover
Anthony Bourdain has fallen pray to the same trap as Bobbie Flay and Emeril Lagasse (as he will remind readers of the book throughout in small segments describing the pains he went through to help the TV series), but at least he is honest about it.
The premise of this book, and the TV series that it is a companion to, is for Bourdain to travel around the world looking for the perfect meal. His travels take him throughout asia, into Europe, Africa and even parts of the US, as he looks for culinary delight. He describes with admirable detail the food, people, and culture of the places he visits, often with vary favorable comparisons to our own culinary culture. He regrets the US' "refridgerator culture" and how we have lost track of where our food comes from. Mixed in with the food talk is some other random rantings and ravings, as can be expected from him. The paragraphs on Henry Kissinger, and the comparison of Cambodia to Vietnam are probably the most off topic in the book, but you can tell that he wrote them which a lot of personal feeling.
Bourdain is a pretty engaging fellow, and his writing, while not some stellar example of perfect prose, has a very personable feel to it that makes the book quite the pleasant read. What comes out more in the book than the TV series, was that this was his plan to exploit his fame from "Kitchen Confidential". He knows full well that he has become that which he has professed to despise, but his open and honest acknowledgement of it deserves some respect. It's hard to fault the guy for taking this opportunity when he could, for it's plain that he truly enjoyed touring the world, and most of the food that he found.
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