Les Halles Executive Chef Anthony Bourdain travels the globe reliving earlier gastronomic experiences and questing for new culinary milestones; some of those include dining on lamb testicle, snake bile wine, haggis, fried worms, sautéed ant eggs, braised bat, and partially incubated duck egg with beak and feathers present. He will try anything once although his limitations are pushed several times. His edible journey is not all vile and disgusting comestibles as he feasts on spring rolls, caviar, oysters, fine wine, tagine of mutton, fresh fish, couscous, dark bread, borscht, tapas, shrimp-kebobs, beer, vodka, and other savory and delectable foodstuffs. He has with him a camera crew to film the proceedings for a series on The Food Network.
Mr. Bourdain experiences the exhilaration of new cultures and cuisines with remarkably good cheer. Often the portions of the book of greatest interest are the descriptions of exotic locations and lifestyles. He dines on whole lamb in the Sahara arriving by camel caravan; he takes a Russian sauna complete with willow switch flogging before plunging into icy, frigid waters; and he dines on pho, baguettes, and coffee aboard a floating sampan in Vietnam. These once in a lifetime experiences are not lost on the author either. Pleasantly, Mr. Bourdain has toned down the false macho bravado and cavalier use of sexual imagery in his writing as he is humbled by the ages old traditions and ancient cultures he encounters. Often he is humiliated to be barging into the lives or normal people with cameramen in tow.
This report prepared by David Fletcher