Bill Buford - Heat

Books Reviews Bill Buford
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Bill Buford - Heat

Is there high drama behind the swinging doors of a New York kitchen? Mamma mia!

Insatiable curiosity and an encounter with a legendary chef led Bill Buford, a staff writer for The New Yorker, to a job in the prep kitchen of Babbo, Mario Batali’s three-star Italian restaurant in Manhattan.

Buford found working in a hell-hot kitchen punctuated by the staccato chop-chop-chop of razor-edged knives and the endless sizzle of sautéing meat is no piece of cake, but it does provide the ingredients for a juicy story.

Heat folds one tale into another: Batali’s odyssey through the Italian countryside, honing his chops in a series of traditional cucinas, and Buford’s eye-opening experience in the kitchen, where tempers often run hotter than the fiery grill, and where exacting detail—such as the zero-tolerance specifications of cubed carrots—is the recipe for Mario’s mantra: consistency, consistency, consistency.

Buford’s transparent reporting drops readers into the thick of the soup. Heat is delectable. You won’t read it without salivating.

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