The impossible has happened; I read a foodie book. And it was great.
I probably ought to let a smarter, more food-like person actually review the cooking stuff in "Heat." My perspective? I love this guy.
Thursday, Ed had mentioned something to me about being at a book release party with a bunch of his foodie freaks, some about a New Yorker editor and Mario Batali. I ignored him. (Other than my affection for Ed and his writing, the foodie world doesn't particularly interest me. Eating does.) Then, checking out Charlie Rose again after his absence, at about 11:30 I stumbled upon him interviewing someone I'd didn't recognize. Bald, white haired, about my age, this character was animated, enthusiastic, inspired, and talking about Mario. Telling his story of going on the line in the Babbo kitchen to write a profile, and quitting his job, staying on and off for three years, with a number of side trips to Italy, to study with the people who taught Mario.
Bill got my attention. Not only had he been the fiction editor at the New Yorker, but the editor of Granta (a great literary fiction periodical), and he was obviously a writer himself. He was so charismatic I couldn't help myself, I watched the whole thing.
Like I said, one of you will have a better take on the book. But, I will say, I almost wish Bill Buford was my friend. (I say "almost" because I haven't had such great luck in translating TV charisma into real life experience.) And his writing, his storytelling, his admiration of Mario, all come through and might make you wish you'd quit your job too and become a cook.