Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking it All with the Greatest Chef in the World
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Feeling stuck in his life, New York Times food writer Jeff Gordinier met René Redzepi, the Danish chef whose restaurant, Noma, has been repeatedly voted the best in the world.
A restless perfectionist, Redzepi was at the top of his game but looking to shutter his restaurant and set out for new places, flavours and recipes.
This is the story of their four-year culinary adventure. In the Yucatán jungle, Redzepi and Gordinierseek the perfect taco and the secrets of molé. On idyllic Sydney beaches, they forage for sea rocket and wild celery. On a boat in the Arctic Circle, a lone fisherman guides them to – perhaps – the world’s finest sea urchins. Back in Copenhagen, Redzepi plans the resurrection of his restaurant on the unlikely site of a garbage-filled empty lot.
Hungry is a memoir, a travelogue, a portrait of a chef, and a chronicle of the moment when daredevil cooking became the most exciting and groundbreaking form of artistry.
‘If you want to understand modern restaurant culture, you need to read this book. Gordinier takes us into the fabulously obsessive world of the world’s most fascinating chef—and he does it with the voice of a poet. You will remember this every time you go out to eat.’
‘This wonderful book is really about the adventures of two men: a great chef and a great journalist. Hungry is a feast for the senses, filled with complex passion and joy, bursting with life. Not only did Jeff Gordinier make me want to jump on the next flight (to Mexico, Copenhagen, Sydney) in search of the perfect meal, but he also reminded me to stop and savor the ride.’
‘Hungry is a pithy, fluid, rollicking book that’s somehow simultaneously visceral and cerebral, funny and heartfelt, passionate and badass, brilliant and unpretentious—Gordinier takes us along with him on a madcap global odyssey on the heels of a megalomaniacal genius of a chef as he relentlessly pushes the boundaries of food. This is a book about invention and reinvention—of food, ideas, place, and ultimately the self. It’s immensely fun to read as well as profound. I loved every word.’
‘A piece of writing as breathless and as urgent as its subject. Wonderful all-in, full-on story telling. I read as I might eat a meal when I’m really, really hungry: all in one sitting.’
‘Follow along on an incredible journey across the globe with the world’s greatest chef, described with equal parts humor and brilliance by one of the greatest food writers of our generation, as they go to enormous lengths in search of the rarest morsels of flavor in an imperfect world. In these pages, you will find that rare glimpse into the mind of a restless and enigmatic genius who has forever changed how we look at the world of fine dining.’
‘For the curious culinary traveler and food-industry insider, this will become mandatory reading. With rich, compelling detail, the story traces René Redzepi’s path to carving out his own radical space in modern cooking, but what’s most wonderful about this book is the heartfelt parallel story—the story of Gordinier’s own personal evolution, following the chef around the world and finding himself forever changed.’
‘In Hungry, we have a remarkable portrait of Redzepi, the genius behind “the world’s best restaurant.” We also have a remarkable portrait of Gordinier, a wise and reflective digester of Redzepi’s relentless creativity. Armed with a deep metaphorical gift, a gonzo enthusiasm, and a “palate quivering like a trampoline,” Gordinier hurdles us across the globe along with Redzepi and his merry pranksters in search of, among other things, a Mexican mole sauce “like an epic poem about history and time.” And that’s what this memoir is, as well. Hungry is a book to be cherished not just by anyone who’s dreamed of eating at Noma, but by anyone who’s ever had a dream.’