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

Book review by Deane Barker tags: food

I read this book as the supposed successor (or maybe predecessor?) to “Kitchen Confidential.” It was just okay.

I had trouble with the names. The author careens back and forth between Italy and New York, and there are a lot of people to sort out. There are Marios and Darios and Marcos and Memos and lots of other names that I lost track of.

The writing is heavy. Too heavy, I felt like. The book could have been a lot lighter, in terms of tone. I struggle with self-importance in writing (anyone who knows me is rolling their eyes right now), and I feel like the author was trying too hard to be lyrical.

And the cooking advice was a bit esoteric. The author was trying very hard to be an Italian chef, baker, pasta maker, and butcher. And not mainstream either – he was trying to be very traditionally Italian in those respects. As a result, the cooking methods seem a bit strange to me. Not mainstream at all, but perhaps I’m just provincial.

Again, the book wasn’t terrible. But it wasn’t the enjoyable, light read I was hoping for.

Book Info

Bill Buford
  • I have read this book. According to my records, I completed it on .
  • A softcover copy of this book is currently in my home library.

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