Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany (Paperback)
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The book that helped define a genre: Heat is a beloved culinary classic, an adventure in the kitchen and into Italian cuisine, by Bill Buford, author of Dirt.
Bill Buford was a highly acclaimed writer and editor at the New Yorker when he decided to leave for a most unlikely destination: the kitchen at Babbo, one of New York City’s most popular and revolutionary Italian restaurants.
Finally realizing a long-held desire to learn first-hand the experience of restaurant cooking, Buford soon finds himself drowning in improperly cubed carrots and scalding pasta water on his quest to learn the tricks of the trade. His love of Italian food then propels him further afield: to Italy, to discover the secrets of pasta-making and, finally, how to properly slaughter a pig. Throughout, Buford stunningly details the complex aspects of Italian cooking and its long history, creating an engrossing and visceral narrative stuffed with insight and humor. The result is a hilarious, self-deprecating, and fantasically entertaining journey into the heart of the Italian kitchen.
“Buford develops a superbly detailed picture of life in a top restaurant kitchen. . . Heat is a sumptuous meal.” —The New York Times
“A delicious history of Italian cooking, with a twist: Buford, an amateur cook, entered the kitchen of one of New York City’s hottest restaurants as a full-time employee, and [gives] us a story of Italian cuisine through the many characters . . . who prepare it, serve it, and eat it.” —GQ
“Delightful. . . . Charming. . . . [Buford’s] style is . . . happily obsessed with a weird subculture, woozily in love with both cooking and the foul-mouthed, refined-palette world of the chef.” —The Washington Post Book World
“Exuberant, hilarious, glorying in its rich and arcane subject matter, Heat is Plimptonesque immersion journalism. . . . With Heat, we have a writer lighting on the subject of a lifetime.” —The Los Angeles Times Book Review