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Appetites: A Cookbook

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As far as I can tell it's people who think Anthony Bourdain can do no wrong yet possess zero kitchen skills.

This cookbook is actually not exactly what I expected as a huge Anthony Bourdain fan, but it's still great. 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. teaspoons of cayenne pepper in and it wasn't enough, but to each, his own when it comes to spicy taste. But instead of focusing on crowd-pleasing favorites, Bourdain refocuses on the work of cooking, advising readers to treat their home kitchens a bit more like prep kitchens.It's no secret that I adore Anthony Bourdain, so it should be no surprise that I absolutely loved his newest book. What sets this mac n cheese apart is the addition of mustard powder, cayenne pepper and worcestershire to the béchamel. Not so much seeing the author, drooling white sauce like a perverted Guy Fieri, next to his recipe for buttermilk biscuits and gravy sauce.

I can't even get hold of this book before it's available, but I just wanted to point out a fact about this book that many people might miss. The recipe captions and supplemental writing are half-assed, at best, and the photography ranges from modernist to unhelpful to just plain gross. We tear, rend, chop, eviscerate, mangle, and slice living, thinking, loving creatures, even the unborn, for our dark pleasures.Not just because the recipes were yummy and simple, but also because Bourdain uses wit and humor in his writing. With a striking Ralph Steadman illustration for the cover and photography that somehow manages to be both strangely beautiful and utterly grotesque, this cookbook Bourdains first in ten years is a home-cooking, home-entertaining cookbook like no other.

The recipes themselves lean more practical than I expected - the kitchen experience is here as efficiency is the central component of each, as far as I can tell. I simply prefer a mac n cheese with more of a runny sauce, and because of the huge proportion of cheeses in this one, it was quite thick after baking. It should be noted that, as this book was published, Bourdain abandoned his family for his television work. I appreciate Bourdain as a voice in food, culture and their inevitable entwining, and am near certain to be unable to separate my bias as a result, but I found this cookbook engaging and interesting, drenched in his voice start to finish.And moving the giant heavy grill pan laden with chicken from the stove to the oven is tricky business. This book is his collection of his everyday comfort food recipes—some fairly straightforward, and others a definite departure from what we're used to. Bourdain's biscuits have a slightly crunchier bottom, but are lighter and airier than the Cream Biscuits. You know those "knockoff" cookbooks that teach you how to duplicate things like Twinkies and Kentucky Fried Chicken?

Reading Bourdain's commentaries, you get the sense that “Appetites” reflects the man and his experiences. We really enjoyed this flavor boost, but next time I'd reduce the cayenne, as it was a bit too overpowering for me. It was well worth it, the lemony, garlicky, olive-oily marinade was excellent on the ordinary (canned, in my case) garbanzos. The only thing I'd do differently next time would be to add an extra package of ramen noodles--we would have liked more. Appetites has so much potential that's been lost due to the minimal profanity, and a photo of the author eating a sandwich while sitting on a toilet.As a restaurant professional, Bourdain spent his life on the fringes of normality he worked while normal people played, and played while normal people slept.

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