In 2009, the year of the new frugality (at least as it pertains to me), I plan on cooking more. I must be a good cook, I reason with myself, because I’ve eaten so many damn good meals and dude, my mom’s a chef.
Oh, how much there is to learn. I almost wish I hadn’t read Heat, because I would still exist in a sweetly naive world where I consider myself a real foodie. Now I know any real foodie would never discriminate against other foodies, but there is a difference between a foodie like me and a foodie like Bill Buford. HOLY SH*T.
Would I want to apprentice for a year in the Babbo kitchen? Hmmm. Would I survive slicing the tips of my fingers off before dinner service at Babbo? Would I survive a day of prep at Babbo? Having bread thrown in my face or oil spilled on my apron? Would I fly to Italy to learn how to make pasta (ok, yes on that one.) In short, I am the tip of the iceberg, and Bill Buford is the giant core. It is our good fortune that he is such a sharp, seriously funny and endlessly entertaining writer.
I know you made a resolution this year…you know, between 1. getting in shape, 2. drinking less, 3. eating better, and 5. watching less tv, is a little resolution about reading more books. Before you tackle the Grapes of Wrath, pick up Heat. If you have any interest in food, or even in the plight of a human being in search of a better understanding of life and of eggs and pasta, read this book. You will not be disappointed. This book may not make you a better cook, but it will make you a better eater, and a more thoughtful eater. Bon appetit.
Heat, by Bill Buford. Available pretty much everywhere.