The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Friday, June 23, 2006

Eat These Words. Everyone Else Is.

by Melissa Bell

It's been a great month for foodie readers, friends. And I have my invoice from Chapters/Indigo on-line to prove it. Michael Ruhlman's Reach of a Chef (the third in his chef-related series), Bill Buford's Heat, and Anthony Bourdain's The Nasty Bits. All these boys can write. And they write about food and the people who make it. And they do it extremely well.

Chef Bourdain's The Nasty Bits. I loved this collection of essays because I decided a long time ago he's the male version of me - the one who is six-foot-four and has traveled the world and swears and smokes and drinks (oh wait, I kinda really do that last part) and still manages to get his hung-over ass out of bed to meet a deadline when a deadline is meant to be met. There's a lesson there, people. Party hearty, by all means, but keep your promises to your editors and publishers. Chef Bourdain's writing has taught me how to cope. When I'm standing in the shower some mornings, knowing that I have an entire day ahead of me dealing with shit I couldn't care less about, I think about Mr. Bourdain and his having to scarf down an iguana taco or locust omelet, and then have to write about it after a hardcore night on the town. Somewhere there's a tourist map that lists his vomity hotspots. I'm glad he's gotten all famous-like in presenting the global kitchen to a mass audience. He deserves everything he's got.

Bill Buford's Heat. Former Fiction Editor for the NYer decides to apprentice with Mario Batali and gets Kitchenmicated. My, this is a great f***ing read. I'm only halfway through, but what a great book. Whoever said editors are editors because they're failed writers should go stick their heads in a toilet and flush twice.

Awaiting me is Mr. Ruhlman's book The Reach of a Chef. Now I haven't read his two previous books in the Chef series, but I will. And you can count on my commentary. I have a very strong feeling it's going to be positive.

In the interim, go get yourself something to eat! Look at you, sitting in front of the computer all day, writing, writing, writing. Go feed yourself, and for god's sake make it something more than a simple salad or a bag of chips! Roast a chicken. Grill a steak or some ribs. Rip, tear and eat with your fingers. If you're going to cook meat, cook it properly, present it with respect, eat it with friends, and honour it with a good wine. Some lovely creature died for your nourishment. Do it up nice with a lovely garlic mash and something fresh from the garden. Yes, I mean it.

And then go wash your greasy mitts and come back to the keyboard and tell us all about it. Yes, I mean that, too.


Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

Jeez, you got me salivicating, except when you mentioned the big, burly chef puking out his locust lunch. I enjoyed this, so much so that I'm going to get me a lovely animal out of the freezer right now.

Fri Jun 23, 09:53:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Patricia said...

this is like grocery shopping on an empty stomach. I'm starving!! Thanks Melissa.xo

Fri Jun 23, 06:46:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

What a great style you have, Melbel. This made me laugh out loud. Great fun.

Fri Jun 23, 11:42:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

Great recommended reads here, thanks Mel! We have a bit of a food theme going this week....

Mon Jun 26, 08:49:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

Seems the foodies are the punk rockers of the moment, eh? Great stuff, Mel!

Tue Jun 27, 01:17:00 pm GMT-4  

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