Chefs: They’re Just Like Us!


(from Bloomsbury)

How I Learned to Cook, sequel to Don’t Try This at Home, is a collection of essays by 40 chefs, from the old school (Marcella Hazan) to the superhip (David Chang), and of course, the ubiquitous there anything Anthony Bourdain is not involved in?

But then, his is the funniest. To illustrate how he learned to cook, Bourdain tells of his more recent education in How To Cook For TV, which includes feeding steak tartar to a morning show host who actually said, on-camera, “Ew!” before spitting it out (off-camera). Also, he makes use of the word “fucktard.” What more do you need?

Mario Batali, as would be expected, talks about the tiny village in Italy where he made pasta all day with an old lady. Gabrielle Hamilton is refreshingly honest when talking about how she learned how to run Prune. David Chang goes on a desperate mission to work in a Tokyo ramen shop, and never quite gets there. Andrew Carmellini partakes in a fixed olive oil competition and swears them off for life. Don’t expect to see him on Iron Chef anytime soon. Daniel Boulud gets wasted for the first time thanks to Paul Bocuse. Tom Colicchio puts salt on a steak and realizes cooking its his calling.

And, as they say, more.