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Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford
In 2002, Bill Buford wrote for the New Yorker Magazine when he took an assignment to work in the kitchen in Mario Batali's famous New York restaurant, Babbo. After his six months as a kitchen slave, watching the frenetic, testosterone-filled chaos that occurs nightly, he decided to leave the magazine and pursue Batali's cooking influences in Europe. He begins in a remote Italian village where Batali first apprenticed and learned to make pasta, moves to a Chianti butcher who quotes Dante and explains the cultural significance of Italian cuisine, and then to London to train under another famous chef. The result is Heat, an exploration of food, cookings, and restaurant kitchens. Bill Buford's book has received mostly positive reviews with the Seattle Times saying, "However uncertain he is of his culinary skills, Buford needn't worry about his exceptional gift of writing words to esteem and savor."