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About the Author

Bill Buford is a Staff Writer and 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 he edited Granta magazine for sixteen 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 (Norton, 1992), a highly personal nonfiction account of crowd violence and British soccer hooliganism. For The New Yorker, he has written about sweatshops, the singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams, and chef Mario Batali. Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1954, Bill Buford grew up in California and was educated at the University of California at Berkeley and at Kings College, Cambridge, where he was awarded a Marshall Scholarship for his work on Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. He lives in New York City with his wife, Jessica Green, and their two sons.

Reviews

Editor of Granta, fiction editor of The New Yorker, and now its European correspondent-what will Buford do next? Become a professional cook-in-training, of course. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Adult/High School-Could loving to cook translate into being a professional under the tutelage of the famous chef of a three-star New York restaurant? Buford jumped at the chance to find out. This energetic account of his intense culinary education brings readers into the scalding kitchens where fine food is prepared by obsessive chefs for whom timing is critical and cooking is art. The author entwines the history of pasta with his preparation of it, and he visits the theory that it was the Italians who brought fine cooking to France rather than the other way around. Buford follows the example of his mentors as he travels to Italian villages to serve as kitchen slave to a master of pasta-making and as an apprentice to a butcher to learn to perfect that culinary craft. A journalist for the New Yorker, the author writes with the same gusto with which he cooks. Readers learn how physically demanding professional cooking is, how hard it is on the ego, and how satisfying it can be. This is the ultimate career book for would-be chefs, and a book that noncooks will savor until the last word.-Ellen Bell, Amador Valley High School, Pleasanton, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Buford's book starts smartly-he first met dynamic celebrity chef Mario Batali at a dinner party at his own home, where Batali sparkled until 3 a.m.-and continues at a fast clip as he conceives the notion of becoming Batali's "kitchen slave." Buford wanted to profile Batali for the New Yorker but also wanted to learn about cooking; he would be a "journalist-tourist" in the boot camp of a "kitchen genius." His subject became an obsession, and over the next three years, he investigated a rich menu of subjects: what makes a three-star restaurant work; what it takes to be a TV food star; the techniques and history of Italian cooking, not just from library research but also from repeated trips to Italy to visit Batali's relatives. Terrific culinary writing tracks Buford's successive passions for short ribs, polenta, tortellini and then the butcher's art, Italian-style, of pig and cow. Along the way, to his own surprise, Buford found that he had become a kitchen insider. This is a wonderfully detailed and highly amusing book from the writer who once took an insider's look at English soccer hooligans in Among the Thugs. 100,000 first printing. (June 13) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Buford develops a superbly detailed picture of life in a top restaurant kitchen. . . Heat is a sumptuous meal." --The New York Times"Delightful. . . . Charming. . . . [Buford's] style is . . . happily obsessed with a weird subculture, woozily in love with both cooking and the foul-mouthed, refined-palette world of the chef." --The Washington Post Book World"Exuberant, hilarious, glorying in its rich and arcane subject matter, Heat is Plimptonesque immersion journalism. . . . With Heat, we have a writer lighting on the subject of a lifetime." --The Los Angeles Times Book Review

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