Heat: An Amateur Cook in a Professional Kitchen by Bill Buford

By Bill Buford

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I’d never worked on presentation. ” He described White’s making a deep green puree from basil leaves and then a white butter sauce, then swirling the green sauce in one direction, and the white sauce in the other, and drawing a swerving line down the middle of the plate. ” According to Batali, White was basically illiterate, but because he was so intuitive and physical—” a beautiful specimen, perfect, a classic body, like a sculpture, with broad shoulders, narrow waist”—he could do things to food that no one else had done before.

And, as I did, the Band-Aids started to work themselves loose, and the clear synthetic surgeon’s glove started to expand and droop, filling up like a water balloon with my blood. The truth is, I am always slicing off little bits of me, but I could see that if I sliced off a little bit of this glove it was going to be a mess. I was falling behind, and Elisa was looking at me. She picked up a thigh. To me, it looked like I’d got the oyster. In front and back, wherever the thing was, there was plenty of meat.

Here are the snow peas, master,’ but he doesn’t like the look of them. ‘They’re wrong, you arsehole. They’re overcooked, you fucking moron. ” He threw a risotto into Batali’s chest. He beat up an Irish kid who washed the dishes. “He was intimidating,” Batali recalls. He stuck it out for four months—“I was frightened for my life, this guy was a mean motherfucker”—then dumped two handfuls of salt into a beurre blanc and walked out. “I will never forget him,” White said, when I met him in London.

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