The Nasty Bits

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 May, 2006, 12:00am

The Nasty Bits

by Anthony Bourdain

Bloomsbury, $130

'China is great. China is BIG. China is FUN,' writes Anthony Bourdain in the commentary notes to a story called China Syndrome in The Nasty Bits, which has rather inexplicably come out in paperback ahead of the hardcover, due for release on May 16. Let this be a taste, then, of the banquet that is some of Bourdain's magazine and newspaper articles from the five years of celebrity that followed the publication of Kitchen Confidential in 2000. Fans of the chef's idiosyncratic style should be able to get past page IX and the preface, in which the reader is treated to the butchering of a seal by an Inuit family in Hudson Bay. Later on, he's picking 'a single, crunch, black stinger' from between his front teeth, lodged there from the previous evening's scorpion in Singapore. There are stories from Esquire, Face, The Financial Times, Gourmet and Town & Country, so others have eaten from this table before. But back to China, which he heartily welcomes as a future economic superpower: 'With China as our landlord, we will, at least, be eating a hell of a lot better.'