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  • Published: 3 September 2007
  • ISBN: 9780099464433
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $29.99
Categories:

Heat

An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-maker and Apprentice to a Butcher in Tuscany




'Heat is by far the funniest, most passionately felt and intensely flavoured piece of writing about food, its possibilities and its culture, you are likely to read' - Tim Adams, Observer

Heat is the story of an amateur cook surviving - or, perhaps more accurately, trying to survive - in a professional kitchen.Until recently, Bill Buford was an enthusiastic, if rather chaotic, home cook. His meals were characterized by two incompatible qualities: their ambition and his inexperience at preparing them. Nevertheless, his lifelong regret was that he'd never worked in a professional kitchen.Then, three years ago, an opportunity presented itself. Buford was asked by the New Yorker to write a profile of Mario Batali, a Falstaffian figure of voracious appetites who ran one of New York's most successful three-star restaurants. Batali had learned his craft by years of training - first, working in London with the young Marco Pierre White; then in California during the Food Revolution; and finally in Italy, being taught how to make pasta by hand in a hillside trattoria. Buford accepted the commission, if Batali would let him work in his kitchen, as his slave. He worked his way up to being a 'line cook' and then left New York to apprentice himself under the very teachers who had taught his teacher: preparing game with Marco Pierre White, making pasta in a hillside trattoria, and finally, in a town in Northern Italy, becoming an Italian butcher. Heat is a marvellous hybrid: a memoir of Buford's kitchen adventure, the story of Batali's amazing rise to culinary fame, a dazzling behind-the-scenes look at a famous restaurant, and an illuminating exploration of why food matters. It is a book to delight in, and to savour.

  • Published: 3 September 2007
  • ISBN: 9780099464433
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $29.99
Categories:

About the author

Bill Buford

Bill Buford has been a writer and editor for the New Yorker since 1995. Before that he was the editor of Granta magazine for sixteen years and, in 1989, became the publisher of Granta Books. He is also the author of Heat and Among the Thugs. He was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, grew up in California, and was educated at UC Berkeley and Kings College, Cambridge, where he was awarded a Marshall Scholarship for his work on Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. He lives in New York City with his wife, Jessica Green, and their two sons.

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Praise for Heat

This book will make you hungry - hungry for a follow-up, hungry for good writing in general and, of course, hungry for lunch

GQ

Buford is an engaging and accomplished writer with a sharp eye for the telling detail, and his prose fairly crackles on the page...There's enough luscious description to keep avid foodies drooling and enough beady-eyed observation to deter all but the keenest wannabe chefs

George Rosie, Sunday Herald

With an endlessly inquisitive mind writes with great humour ... I suspect it might become a kitchen classic. It deserves to

Ray Connelly, Daily Mail

Heat is a book about obsession, written by a man in the grip of one. It is fuelled by food, but food is not its only subject - love, sex, comradeship and terror and pain are all part of the story too

Carolyn Hart, Sunday Telegraph

Now and again a book comes along that deserves the massive hype that goes with it...this book is an incredible celebration of life, humour, passion and devotion to a cause

Sunday Express

There are many fine books on food, but Buford's insane culinary enthusiasm has resulted in a work that is by some distance the best about life among the professionals

Christopher Hirst, Independent

A dazzling and fun account of two magnificently mad years

Sue Birtwistle, Guardian

It's a messy, brilliant book, a high brow kitchen soap opera...

Tom de Castella, Daily Telegraph

Obsessive, compulsive, sometimes funny, sometimes scholarly and always carefully detailed... he presents the foul-mouthed energy of the kitchen, all fear and weirdness, in the flat, careful detail of a good New Yorker piece - but brilliantly timed and structured as you'd expect from an editor like Buford, to give life to all that fact

Scotsman

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