Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Barron's Educational Series (September 1, 2008)
Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8 x 1.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,655,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #93 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Asian Cooking > Vietnamese #1486 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Education & Reference > Essays #14486 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International
This book made me ill. Depressing, vulgar, and self-aggrandizing, it was more than merely a waste of time--it was an insult to my intelligence. After wading through as much of this thing as I could stomach, I was left with two clear impressions: 1). Bobby Chinn desperately wants to be Anthony Bourdain, and 2). Bobby Chinn is NOT a chef. Not a good one, anyway.How do I know he's not a chef? Because when a chef takes on the task of feeding customers, that chef takes possession of the kitchen and its staff. And only a complete amateur would allow gazpacho laced with gasoline to be set in front of his guests, as Chinn admits he did. But does he take responsibility for serving toxic soup to his customers without so much as a taste or a sniff from the "chef"? Oh, no. Instead, he bores us with a vile story about how he screamed obscenities at some ignorant, lazy old woman in the kitchen. We're supposed to be impressed. And entertained, I suppose. I was neither.Or how about the time he and his drunken buddies sat nearby and howled with laughter while his bartender abused a customer who wasn't happy with her drink? We're supposed to think this is a hilarious story. I guess you had to be there.Despite the half-hearted forward by Bourdain himself, "chef" Chinn misses the Bourdain mark by miles. Instead, he comes across as sort of a potty-mouthed Jeffrey Steingarten: piggish, vapid, and hopelessly convinced that if he keeps boring people with stories about the all the "lovely" offal he's consumed, someone will think he's cool. He tells us about the time he and his buddies went slumming (pheasant feathers in hand, I presume), looking for dog meat. According to Chinn, dog is stringy and tough and not particularly good to eat.
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