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Dirt : Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking
by Bill Buford




Overview -
"You can almost taste the food in Bill Buford's Dirt, an engrossing, beautifully written memoir about his life as a cook in France." --The Wall Street Journal

What does it take to master French cooking? This is the question that drives Bill Buford to abandon his perfectly happy life in New York City and pack up and (with a wife and three-year-old twin sons in tow) move to Lyon, the so-called gastronomic capital of France. But what was meant to be six months in a new and very foreign city turns into a wild five-year digression from normal life, as Buford apprentices at Lyon's best boulangerie, studies at a legendary culinary school, and cooks at a storied Michelin-starred restaurant, where he discovers the exacting (and incomprehensibly punishing) rigueur of the professional kitchen.

With his signature humor, sense of adventure, and masterful ability to bring an exotic and unknown world to life, Buford has written the definitive insider story of a city and its great culinary culture.

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More About Dirt by Bill Buford

 
 
 

Overview

"You can almost taste the food in Bill Buford's Dirt, an engrossing, beautifully written memoir about his life as a cook in France." --The Wall Street Journal

What does it take to master French cooking? This is the question that drives Bill Buford to abandon his perfectly happy life in New York City and pack up and (with a wife and three-year-old twin sons in tow) move to Lyon, the so-called gastronomic capital of France. But what was meant to be six months in a new and very foreign city turns into a wild five-year digression from normal life, as Buford apprentices at Lyon's best boulangerie, studies at a legendary culinary school, and cooks at a storied Michelin-starred restaurant, where he discovers the exacting (and incomprehensibly punishing) rigueur of the professional kitchen.

With his signature humor, sense of adventure, and masterful ability to bring an exotic and unknown world to life, Buford has written the definitive insider story of a city and its great culinary culture.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307271013
  • ISBN-10: 0307271013
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publish Date: May 2020
  • Page Count: 432
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.6 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

Dirt

Bill Buford (author of Heat) again chooses a single-word title for his new book, Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking, a funny, irreverent and obsessive account of his five-year odyssey to discover everything about French food—from learning how to cook it to exploring the medieval origins of the much-revered cuisine. France, he writes, “was secretly where I had wanted to find myself for most of my adult life. . . . But I could never imagine how that might happen.”

Through a connection at New York’s French Culinary Institute, Buford comes to know many influential French chefs, among them Michel Richard, Daniel Boulud and the legendary Paul Bocuse. What follows is a familial move to Lyon, the terrors (or, shall we say, “terroir”) of parenting twin toddlers in a gritty French city, sadistic “stagiaires”—essentially apprentice chefs—in famed Lyonnaise restaurants (pot-throwing, anyone?) and food-sleuthing expeditions to remote areas in France, where Buford comes to appreciate the soil that grows the unique wheat responsible for the country’s finest bread. Dirt sometimes ventures into the weeds in its excavation of culinary history and lore, but this may be forgiven in light of Buford’s honest hunger for knowledge and personal evolution: “I wanted to re-examine my assumptions about the kitchen, to restart my education, to get as elemental and as primary as possible. Heat. Water. Labor. Place. And its dirt.”

This book doesn’t offer any recipes, per se, but if perused closely, readers can find instructions for assembling perhaps the grandest concoction of them all: a life well and fully lived, seasoned with curiosity, perseverance and humor—and a dash of adventure.

 

BAM Customer Reviews