Thursday, September 27, 2012

General Reactions to Cook's Tour

Finishing the book, I really began to see a lot of depth in Tony Bourdain. I watched some of his footage from Vietnam, because I feel like it was the place that he revisited throughout the book and also, because it seemed to be a place that he truly loved. The part of the video I saw was very similar to his description in the book. It was the market scene during the Tet holiday, where one could just walk from one vendor to the next to: "See what the next guy is selling," as he says on the show.

I think he is very similar to what he acts like on camera and his voice in his writing; however, I believe he is a bit more candid in his book. After reading the book though, I was still left with a few questions.
A few questions that I left the book with:
Why is he so willing to try all varieties of food except for Vegan?
What recipes will he take back to his own kitchen?
And how does he compare himself with the many chef's he's encountered? He often says that he's not as good as other chef's but where does he find himself in the line?

I thought the second half of the book added a lot of emotional depth to Tony Bourdain, and also established the idea of perfection beautifully. I love how he described it as "fleeting," and how it's something to always strive towards. 


  1. I definitely see the interest in Vietnam that you have. What I'm curious about is why he ends the first section about it so negatively, and then keeps returning. I don't remember there being any sort of reconciliation in his "What am I still doing in Vietnam," feelings to the odd beat of, "I'm still here." What do you think?

  2. Yeah I think he starts tut feeling that way but he begins loving having "pho" in the mornings and the way of life there. I think he becomes more enamored with Vietnam the longer he stays there.

  3. Taylor,

    I asked myself some of those same questions as I was reading. I'm not sure we can know the answers to any of them.

    I think some of Tony's comments about other chefs stemmed from his own insecurities. Perhaps that's why he sometimes seemed so dismissive of restaurants in the United States.

    I loved reading about Vietnam. He seems to say he "fell in love" with Vietnam right after he got there and then confirms those feelings throughout his travels.