Medium Raw, By Anthony Bourdain

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The Independent Culture

"I'm still a cranky old fuck," declares Bourdain, at the end of this book of memoirs-cum-pensées. "And I'm still angry." Well, who'd have guessed?

We learn that after Kitchen Confidential, he suffered the "worst year of my life" due to a liaison with "a fund-less, coke-crazy schizo".

Later he lashes US restaurant critic Gael Greene for ignoring his hero Fergus Henderson on a discussion panel: "She blathered on and on about her favourite subject (herself) while ignoring the most influential chef of the last 10 years."

He savages sub-standard hamburgers: "Anyone who fucks with my hamburger is... unpatriotic." Though not exactly ego-free, Bourdain talks good sense. His eruptions are as bracing as a splat of Tabasco.