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The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones Hardcover – May 16, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 480 ratings

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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.

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

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.25 pounds
  • Hardcover : 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1582344515
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1582344515
  • Publisher : Bloomsbury USA; First American Edition (May 16, 2006)
  • Product Dimensions : 6.35 x 1.09 x 9.51 inches
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 480 ratings