A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines

A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines

by Anthony Bourdain


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From the star of No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain's New York Times-bestselling chronicle of travelling the world in search the globe's greatest cuilnary adventures

The only thing "gonzo gastronome" and internationally bestselling author Anthony Bourdain loves as much as cooking is traveling. Inspired by the question, "What would be the perfect meal?," Tony sets out on a quest for his culinary holy grail, and in the process turns the notion of "perfection" inside out. From California to Cambodia, A Cooks' Tour chronicles the unpredictable adventures of America's boldest and bravest chef.

Fans of Bourdain will find much to love in revisting this classic culinary and travel memoir.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060012786
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/05/2002
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 74,272
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Anthony Bourdain was the author of the novels Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo, the memoir A Cook’s Tour, and the New York Times bestsellers Kitchen Confidential, Medium Raw, and Appetites. His work appeared in the New York Times and The New Yorker. He was the host of the popular television shows No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Bourdain died in June 2018.


New York, New York

Date of Birth:

June 25, 1956

Date of Death:

June 8, 2018

Place of Birth:

New York, New York

Place of Death:

Kaysersberg-Vignoble, Haut-Rhin, France


High school diploma, Dwight Englewood School, 1973; A.O.S. degree, The Culinary Institute of America, 1978

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Cook's Tour 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Attention Barnes & Noble shoppers. If you're looking to overcome the belly fullness that came with your latest gluttonous feasting, try this. You'll never look at pork roast in the same way again. It is fascinating, funny, gorey reading. You may be inspired to swear off meat, and you will want to book a tour of Vietnam, among other far off places. If you want to read great food writing, read Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain's previous book or something by M.F.K. Fisher. If you want to read a darn good book, drop everything and get this book! I'm serious. This man is a character, an interesting, provocative, very human writer. He's out to see what life's about, by traveling to places where ancient recipes are still followed in traditional ways, by meeting locals and making friends, by experiencing disconnected moments in front of the camera, and by contemplating oneness after dragging his stuffed body to the top of a sand dune and looking at the stars. That's after he ate the much-enjoyed sheep testicle. A lot of reviewers miss the point about Bourdain. He is full of braggodoccio, yes. He is testosterone driven, maybe yes. He is also a sensitive soul, a sensualist, and an enormously evocative writer. He writes about food in a way that shows cooking and eating as the social glue of the world. In his mind it is a uniting action, something the whole world participates in. In this book, as in his glossier TV show, he makes scenes come alive. You may feel that you're there. I've come to like his voice, his thoughts. Maybe I can join the tour as a camel tender next time. I'd really like to go. In conclusion, critics be darned, read the book for fun, for an entry into someone else's interesting perceptions. IF YOU ENJOYED KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL, READ THIS BOOK! P.S. In person the guy is a peach. See him talk if you can. He has limitless energy, charm and enthusiasm!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fun, brash, full of rich details -- everything Kitchen Confidential had, this is lacking. This reads like it was rushed to coincide with the TV series. If you want another Bourdain, read 'Bone in the Throat' instead.
smackfu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Better than just a companion to the series, because it's a lot more truthful. The producers hid a lot of the reality which Bourdain reveals.
ChemChick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was pleasantly surprised by Bourdain's witty and wickedly funny writing. Read this book, but plan your next vacations around his destinations (and meals).
WorldReader1111 More than 1 year ago
A superb read, for my tastes (no pun intended). 'Tour' shines from page one, as seen in the rich, intelligent writing that characterizes the entire text (and, the humor, which is as abundant). The author writes with passion, candidness, and heart, and a keen sense of observation, all of which lend to the subject matter. There are parts that, I thought, were a bit overly opinionated and one-sided, but this was minimal, and failed at detracting from my enjoyment (and, to be fair: opinion is an author's prerogative in such firsthand literature). The format, too, is polished and cohesive, and, combined with the fact that the book simply delivers on its premise as an interesting travel-and-food saga, 'Tour' came off, to me, as a good, complete product. What sets this one apart, however, is an extra, deeper layer of substance residing within the text. Namely, the author's journeys tell a bigger, collective story, serving as a dive into the human experience at large, as framed in the appetites and dining habits of the depicted cultures and peoples, saying much in regards to psychology and sociology (and, even, spirituality). Similarly, the writings present a psychological study of the author himself, granting insight into a complex, conflicted personality that, I think, shared many of the same challenges faced by most everyone (insights which become even more telling in light of the author's ultimate end). Also, I liked the behind-the-scenes view of the television show chronicling these same travels, which, along with providing some good, balancing perspective on the true reality of these events, worked to address the distortions and illusions created by the television experience as a whole. In a nut, there's a lot to learn here, and on many big, far-reaching subjects. For these reasons, I must grant 'Tour' a full five stars. It left me both educated and entertained, and generally enriched in a lasting way. My sincere thanks goes out to this book's subjects, publisher, and author (posthumously). I am grateful for, and have benefited from, your work. * * * Some notable quotes from 'A Cook's Tour': "The challenge of all that [tile work], all that elaborate detail, and his unwavering faith in what he as doing, his discipline, his certainty that he'd chosen the right path, provoked and disturbed me in new ways. Why couldn't I be that certain -- about anything? [...] I looked at Abdelfettah, wondered what he was really seeing in all those tiny grooves and repeating patterns, and I envied him. [...] I yearned for whatever it was he had that I didn't, imagining it could only be peace of mind." -- p.110 "I stopped taking pictures at Angkor Wat. No camera is adequate to the task." -- p.172 "I like the idea of having to travel to experience a French Laundry meal. The journey is part of the experience -- or was for me -- an expression of the seriousness of one's intent, and the otherness of everything Keller. I liked looking out the window and seeing hills and countryside. I don't know if I want to be able to just pick up the phone, make a reservation, and sooner or later, simply hop in a cab and zip down to Columbus Circle. One doesn't take the A train to Mecca." -- p.251
kraaivrouw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was good, but I didn't enjoy it as much as Kitchen Confidential. I've been trying to decide why & I think it's because ultimately this isn't so much a food book as it is a travel book. That's okay, but the notion of hunting down the perfect meal has an appeal to me & led me to expect something different. Having said all of that, I enjoyed the book. It's hard not to love someone who hits the jackpot with a best seller & says to themselves, "Hmmm ... I think I'll see if I can get someone to pay for me to travel around the world eating cool stuff & looking at cool & interesting places." That someone actually did agree to pay for this & that it was the Food Network makes it all the more amusing since he spends much of Kitchen Confidential slagging the Food Netwok & many of its chefs. If you've seen No Reservations you know the schtick - Tony visits exotic locale, meets interesting people, talks a lot, & eats cool food. Often there is is drunkenness & there is the occasional oblilgatory inspired by the producers moment of Eat-This-Weird-Thing-While-We-Film-You-It'll-Be-Great-Remember-We're-Paying. I like that Bourdain gets that great food doesn't all happen at 5-star restaurants. It can, but it doesn't happen only there. Great food also happens at people's houses, from street vendors, down at the local. It was fun to read about his meal at The French Laundry, but I'm not dropping $400-$500 on a meal anytime soon & I much more enjoyed his writing about his adventures in Mexico with the families of some of his cooks from his New York restaurant. All in all I think that this kind of thing works better as a TV series. Ultimately with travel I want to actually see the place, the food, the people. What works as voiceover makes for okay reading, but just okay.
browner56 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A lot of people first heard about Tony Bourdain with the publication of ¿Kitchen Confidential,¿ the irreverent expose of the restaurant culture that elevated him from being a self-confessed mediocre chef to a celebrated author. Although I have since laughed my way through that book, I discovered Bourdain through his travel- and food-oriented show ¿No Reservations.¿ I love his sardonic take on the myriad dining scenes throughout the world and the generous way he treats cooks who ply their craft with respect and dedication, regardless of their comparative station.That is also the reason I enjoyed reading ¿A Cook¿s Tour¿ so much. This book, which was published in conjunction with a television series of the same name, is basically a first-generation version of ¿No Reservations.¿ Bourdain¿s passions for both cooking and traveling the world first came together in this project and the result is always interesting and occasionally fascinating. His search for the ¿perfect¿ meal takes him to the remote reaches of such places as Cambodia, Russia, Portugal, Japan, Scotland, Mexico, and the Sahara; the chapter on Viet Nam is especially good and chronicles the origin of the author¿s well-known love affair with that country. As always, Bourdain¿s writing is sharp and insightful and, at times, surprisingly beautiful.This is a very different book than ¿Kitchen Confidential¿ but one that I found to be a great deal more satisfying. It does not produce the kind of sound-bite moments of that earlier work¿the whole ¿don¿t order fish on Mondays¿ thing, for instance¿but it was written far more from the heart. Bourdain may have cooked in second-tier restaurants, but he is a first-class travel and food writer and that talent is fully realized here.
nilchance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After the bravado and profanity of Kitchen Confidential, the last thing I expected from this book was warmth and tenderness. Damned if Bourdain didn't surprise me. Yes, there was a fair amount of blue language and contempt for The Man, but it's set against a backdrop of genuine affection for the cultures he visits. The chapter where he goes to France with his brother made me tear up. The lush descriptions of food made me ravenous. Not a good book to read for dieters, vegetarians or nuns.
pictou on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Meh. I was disappointed. Bourdain's book [book: Kitchen Confidential] was so good that I couldn't wait to read this one. More of a documentation of his travels for the show No Reservations, the wit and banter is not there. Too much time is spent on the logistics of travel and it seems to drone on and on.This doesn't mean I won't continue to read his stuff and watch his show. I think he's funny and writes well. But this book is just not as good.
NellieMc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Once you get past Bourdain's profanity, you realize he's a remarkably good writer, with some excellent insights. This is well worth reading, even 8 years after it was published, if only for the love letter he writes for Viet Nam. Surprisingly, having lived through the 70's, it made me happy.
bookwormteri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anthony Bourdain is the gangster of the celebrity chef world and I love him. Crass and unapologetic for who he is, but utterly charming in his love for food. He travels the world for the "perfect" meal and has so many "perfects" that it is hard to pick just one. I long to eat at the many places that he has eaten in this book, and not just the "pretty" ones.
sailornate82 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Definitely not as good as "Kitchen Confidential," but there still some nice Bourdain wit. I think chapters about London, Japan, and San Francisco are among the best.
kutsuwamushi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An entertaining and quick read. It's probably not for everyone; people who are familiar with Bourdain's television work might get more out of it, because he talks about what it's like to shoot quite often. There are some good moments--the conflict between good television and authenticity rears its head often, for example.
tintinintibet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just like his TV show: a bit irreverent, a bit audacious -- but I'm selfishly interested mostly in those episodes that take place somewhere I've traveled. The others....are usually good but less compelling for me. Probably because Bourdain's show (and his writing) isn't meant to be an intro to a new country or culture, but is focused more specifically on exploring food (which CAN be a big part of a place's culture) and a bit of adventure -- I feel like Bourdain is like icing on the cake. He's awesome don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan -- but without the context of the cake, you can't really just eat spoonful after spoonful of icing. Alas. Three stars because I've only been to half the places in the book, which is to say I skipped through most of the other sections. Is that his fault? No, but I can't give more stars to a book that I read in such a piecemeal way. But I loved those pieces!
jonesjohnson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My name is j, and I am a bookoholic. I devour the things. I could live in a house made of books, and in fact I almost do. I eat them. Quickly. Like an obese American with a Big Mac attack. This book takes me days upon days to parse. Not that the language is poorly chosen, mind you, but because it is so rich. You know those fabulous and rare desserts where one bite really is enough? Remember that feeling after one perfect smoked sea salt caramel from Fran's in Seattle? That "I am in love and I can die happy" feeling? In the slow parts of this book it takes me a page or two before I feel that sated. In the best parts, I can live a week on a paragraph. If you at all like the travel channel show, buy this book. I love the show. This is infinitely better.
TheScrappyCat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved it. More of Bourdain's hard-ass storytelling...jeez, I can't get enough. Love his descriptions of the bizarre and exotic cuisines of the world. Great book. Cool guy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
His rough den energy comes across skillfully with a pen. I really enjoyed this book and have read Kitchen Confidential since.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reading this! :D
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