::sigh:: I’m pretty sure the problem was me, and the fact that in the many years since this book was published I have watched many a show featuring Bourdain do exactly the kind of thing he originated in this work. In fact, one of the running asides in this book is his experiences with the camera crew that followed him as part of the series of the same name on The Food Network.
Here’s Goodreads’ rundown of what to expect with this one:
“The only thing ‘gonzo gastronome’ and internationally bestselling author Anthony Bourdain loves as much as cooking is traveling. Inspired by the question, “What would be the perfect meal?” Tony sets out on a quest for his culinary holy grail and in the process turns the notion of “perfection” inside out. From California to Cambodia, A Cooks’ Tour chronicles the unpredictable adventures of America’s boldest and bravest chef.”
Really, ‘gonzo gastronome’?
Anyway, My problems with this book were two-fold. 1. The shtick of Bourdain traveling around and eating local food amongst locals has over a decade worn thin. 2. The writing was uneven. And that sums up my general feeling about the work. The parts I enjoyed were fine, the rest left me skimming. If you’ve spent any time with Bourdain on No Reservations, or The Layover, or Parts Unknown you probably don’t need to read this book. Unless you have a pressing need to read Bourdain’s words about his emotional responses to Vietnam or Cambodia. Then maybe this book is for you. I would suggest Kitchen Confidential instead. Although I still plan to read Medium Raw next year.
This book was read and reviewed as part of the charitable Cannonball Read.