Book Review: A Cook’s Tour by Anthony Bourdain

Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain

Cook’s Tour by Anthony Bourdain

If you’re on a diet, stop reading right now. Although if you want to go on a diet and get queasy at the thought of strange food, then this might just do the trick.

A no-holds-barred approach to the world’s food selection, this book will take you out of your stomach’s comfort zone and into the diversity of cultural foods: everything from fried haggis to the still-beating heart of a dead cobra.

Yes, you did read that correctly.

Although at times Anthony Bourdain’s arrogance can get to be too much and the writing can feel a bit pompous, whatever he lacks in writing prowess he makes up for in experience and hilarity. Some of his stories are priceless (though somewhat culturally insensitive), and the numerous binds he gets caught up in make for a very entertaining read.

You will feel hungry after reading this book, and it will make you want to travel the world exploring various culinary delights. So be warned, if you spend all your money on plane tickets and restaurant bills, don’t blame me.

And actually, the beauty in this book is Bourdain’s refusal to simply eat the expensive stuff, the Westernised, three-Michelin-star stuff. More often than not, though a few fancy restaurants do pop up, the menu consists of local, authentic, corner stall deliciousness- the type that most Western tourists never eat.

The book’s cover promises ‘global adventures in extreme cuisines’, and it definitely delivers. From Russia to Vietnam to Paris to San Francisco, Anthony Bourdain takes the reader on a journey around the world, one meal at a time. If you love food, whether you’re a chef, a wannabe chef or just an enthusiast, this book is for you. Hell, even if you don’t love food but you love traveling, I’d still recommend it.

Anthony Bourdain is the author of several other books including Kitchen Confidential, as well as the producer and star of the TV series A Cook’s Tour, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, and others.