By Bill Buford
A hugely acclaimed author and editor, invoice Buford left his task at The New Yorker for a very unlikely vacation spot: the kitchen at Babbo, the progressive Italian eating place created and governed via celebrity chef Mario Batali.
Finally understanding a long-held wish to examine first-hand the adventure of eating place cooking, Buford quickly unearths himself drowning in improperly cubed carrots and scalding pasta water on his quest to benefit the tips of the alternate. His love of Italian meals then propels him on trips extra afield: to Italy, to find the secrets and techniques of pasta-making and, eventually, find out how to adequately slaughter a pig.
Throughout, Buford stunningly information the complicated points of Italian cooking and its lengthy heritage, developing an engrossing and visceral narrative crammed with perception and humor.
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Extra resources for Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany
325. • Fattoria Pulcino (outside Mon tepulciano; & 0578-758-711): If you’re hankering for a country lunch on a working farm, come to this huge, sun-filled dining hall. You get the kind of rib-sticking food once dished out to the farm hands—plates of homemade pici pasta, platters of grilled meats— along with the owner’s famous honeyed fruitcake for dessert. See p. 338. • Relais Il Falconiere (outside Cor tona; & 0575-612-679): The food and service are impeccable, and the atmosphere sophisticated.
5 When to Go The best times to visit Tuscany and Umbria are in the spring and fall. Start ing in late May, the summer tourist rush really picks up, and from July to mid-September the country is teeming with visitors. August is the worst month to visit. Not only does it get uncom fortably hot, muggy, and crowded (the lines for the Uffizi and the Accademia can stretch for blocks), but the entire country goes on vacation at least from August 15 until the end of the month, and many Italians take off the entire month.
Call & 075-922-0693 for details. Last Sunday in May. Regatta of the Great Maritime Republics, Pisa, Tuscany. Every year, the four medieval maritime republics of Italy celebrate their glorious past with a boat race that rotates among Venice, Amalfi, Genoa, and Pisa. Venice hosted the event in 2003; Amalfi will host in 2004, Genoa in 2005, and Pisa in 2006. Call the tourist office of the host city for details. First Sunday in June. June Corpus Cristi Procession, Orvieto, Umbria. In the town where this reli gious holiday was first proclaimed, the holy liturgical cloth onto which a communion wafer once miracu lously dripped blood is carried through town in a procession of hundreds dressed in medieval cos tume.
Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford