Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany

Bill Buford, Author . Knopf $24.95 (318p) ISBN 978-1-4000-4120-6

Buford's book starts smartly—he first met dynamic celebrity chef Mario Batali at a dinner party at his own home, where Batali sparkled until 3 a.m.—and continues at a fast clip as he conceives the notion of becoming Batali's "kitchen slave." Buford wanted to profile Batali for the New Yorker but also wanted to learn about cooking; he would be a "journalist-tourist" in the boot camp of a "kitchen genius." His subject became an obsession, and over the next three years, he investigated a rich menu of subjects: what makes a three-star restaurant work; what it takes to be a TV food star; the techniques and history of Italian cooking, not just from library research but also from repeated trips to Italy to visit Batali's relatives. Terrific culinary writing tracks Buford's successive passions for short ribs, polenta, tortellini and then the butcher's art, Italian-style, of pig and cow. Along the way, to his own surprise, Buford found that he had become a kitchen insider. This is a wonderfully detailed and highly amusing book from the writer who once took an insider's look at English soccer hooligans in Among the Thugs . 100,000 first printing . (June 13)

Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
Hardcover - 318 pages - 978-0-224-07184-0
Paperback - 318 pages - 978-0-09-946443-3
Paperback - 318 pages - 978-1-4000-3447-5
Hardcover - 318 pages - 978-0-385-66256-7
Hardcover - 619 pages - 978-0-7862-9057-4
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-307-37205-5
Paperback - 318 pages - 978-0-385-66257-4
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-1-4159-4437-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7393-1544-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-1545-3
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-449-01596-4
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