From one of our most interesting literary figures – former editor of Granta, former fiction editor at The New Yorker, acclaimed author of Among the Thugs – a sharp, funny, exuberant, close-up account of his headlong plunge into the life of a professional cook.
Expanding on his James Beard Award-winning New Yorker article, Bill Buford gives us a richly evocative chronicle of his experience as “slave” to Mario Batali in the kitchen of Batali’s three-star New York restaurant, Babbo.
In a fast-paced, candid narrative, Buford describes three frenetic years of trials and errors, disappointments and triumphs, as he worked his way up the Babbo ladder from “kitchen bitch” to line cook . . . his relationship with the larger-than-life Batali, whose story he learns as their friendship grows through (and sometimes despite) kitchen encounters and after-work all-nighters . . . and his immersion in the arts of butchery in Northern Italy,
of preparing game in London, and making handmade pasta at an Italian hillside trattoria.
Heat is a marvelous hybrid: a memoir of Buford’s kitchen adventure, the story of Batali’s amazing rise to culinary (and extra-culinary) fame, a dazzling behind-the-scenes look at a famous restaurant, and an illuminating exploration of why food matters. It is a book to delight in, and to savour.
Bill Buford is a staff writer and the European correspondent for The New Yorker. He was the fiction editor of the magazine for eight years, from April 1995 to December 2002. Before that Bill edited Granta magazine for 16 years and, in 1989, became the publisher of Granta Books. He has edited three anthologies: The Best of Granta Travel, The Best of Granta Reportage, and The Granta Book of the Family. Bill is also the author of Among the Thugs, a highly personal nonfiction account of crowd violence and British soccer hooliganism.
Michael Kramer is an actor, director, and narrator. He has recorded more than 100 audiobooks, as well as titles for the Library of Congress Talking Books program. Among the recognition he has garnered for his narration are AudioFile magazine’s Earphones Award and the Torgi Award. Mr. Kramer lives in Washington, DC, where he is active in the area’s theater scene, and has appeared in productions at the Shakespeare Theatre, the Kennedy Center, and Theater J.