The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones

Anthony Bourdain, Author . Bloomsbury $24.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-58234-451-5

In this typically bold effort, Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential ), like the fine chef he is, pulls together an entertaining feast from the detritus of his years of cooking and traveling. Arranged around the basic tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami (a Japanese term for a taste the defies description), this scattershot collection of anecdotes puts Bourdain's brave palate, notorious sense of adventure and fine writing on display. From the horrifying opening passages, where he joins an Arctic family in devouring a freshly slaughtered seal, to a final work of fiction, the text may disappoint those who've come to expect more honed kitchen insights from the chef. Surprisingly, though, the less substantive kitchen material Bourdain has to work from only showcases his talent for observation. This book isn't for the effete foodies Bourdain clearly despises (though they'd do well to read it). He criticizes celebrity chefs, using Rocco DiSpirito as a "cautionary tale," and commends restaurants that still serve stomach-turning if palate-pleasing dishes, such as New York's Pierre au Tunnel (now closed), which offered tête de veau, essentially "calf's face, rolled up and tied with its tongue and thymus gland." Fans of Bourdain's hunger for the edge will gleefully consume this never-boring book. Author tour. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/20/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
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Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-7475-7981-6
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-59691-360-8
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-59691-721-7
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