Anthony Bourdain is a man of many appetites. And for many years, first as a chef, later as a world-traveling chronicler of food and culture on his CNN series Parts Unknown, he has made a profession of understanding the appetites of others. These days, however, if he’s cooking, it’s for family and friends.
Appetites, his first cookbook in more than ten years, boils down forty-plus years of professional cooking and globe-trotting to a tight repertoire of personal favorites—dishes that everyone should (at least in Mr. Bourdain’s opinion) know how to cook. Once the supposed "bad boy" of cooking, Mr. Bourdain has, in recent years, become the father of a little girl—a role he has embraced with enthusiasm. After years of traveling more than 200 days a year, he now enjoys entertaining at home. Years of prep lists and the hyper-organization necessary for a restaurant kitchen, however, have caused him, in his words, to have "morphed into a psychotic, anally retentive, bad-tempered Ina Garten."
The result is a home-cooking, home-entertaining cookbook like no other, with personal favorites from his own kitchen and from his travels, translated into an effective battle plan that will help you terrify your guests with your breathtaking efficiency.
Kitchen Confidential author and TV host Bourdain already appeased fans with 2004's Les Halles Cookbook, in which he revisited many of the dishes he prepared there. But in what might be his most accessible book yet, Bourdain reveals his "Ina Garten like need to feed the people around me" with a terrific collection of recipes for family and friends. The blunt honesty, casual profanity, and caustic wit he's known for are still here; much more of a real surprise is that he includes simple dishes such as scrambled eggs, tuna salad, and New England clam chowder. Though he states that those looking for mind-blowing recipes will be better served elsewhere, readers will quickly appreciate his spot-on seasoning and ingredients in crowd-pleasing dishes such as "Chicken Satay with Fake-Ass Spicy Peanut Sauce"; lasagne Bolognese; and clams with chorizo, leeks, tomato, and white wine . Even though his recipes are often simple, Bourdain isn't cutting corners. The Korean fried chicken; duck rillettes; and calf's liver with bacon, leeks, apples, and calvados are sure to expand palates and blow minds, and fans will appreciate his short but pointed essays on diverse topics such as the proper hamburger, party catering, and what's wrong with the classic club sandwich, not to mention an unassailable chapter on hosting a Thanksgiving dinner with minimal stress.
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