I Finally Finished “Heat”

November 12, 2007


I’ve been reading Heat, by Bill Buford, for some time now (I know, I know… I’m like the last person on earth to read it). It had its moments of being a page-turner when I’d try to read while walking down the long hallway at work. But it also had it’s moments where I thought, “Is he really STILL talking about when the egg replaced water in pasta making? Ugh… skip these pages!” All in all, very happy I read it. It was a funny and in-depth look at the secret world of restaurants (and a funny, in-depth look at Mario Batali about whom I have a strange fascination). My biggest revelation from the book was about restaurant “specials.” You know when you go to a restaurant and they say, “Tonight’s special is the halibut with…” and you think, “Oh, it must be amazing if it’s a special!” Well, I learned that a lot of the time, the night’s special is basically whatever the restaurant has too much of or needs to get rid of before it goes bad. Which, in business terms, makes total sense. But I had no idea and I felt duped.

I’m also always really impressed at how Bill Buford completely embeds himself in these projects—and I’m really jealous at how he can do this. When can I quit my desk-job to live in Italy and work for free at a butcher’s shop?

So what to read next?



  1. my first unpaid restaurant gig was picking quarters out of the floor mats behind the bar of my dads restaurant. i was five and it was really to keep me hidden bc apparently having children near alcohol is “illegal and bad parenting” or some bull like that.

  2. You know what that made me think of… “You have a baby! In a bar!” name that chick-flick!

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