Book Reviews,  Food,  NON FICTION

Heat by Bill Buford ** (of 4)

Buford does his best to make Mario Batali into an eccentric, bigger-than-life, Artiste comparable in status to Michaelangeolo, DaVinci, and Jackie Gleason, but in the end it’s just food, and Batali is a drunk who cooks really well. Buford didn’t make me care. Maybe if I were a devotee of Batali’s TV show or his restaurant, the book would provide that missing piece. I wonder, however, if Buford weren’t a writer for the New Yorker but some shmoe off the street whether an editor would have bought this book. Much better to read Kitchen Confidential. (July 2007)