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Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World PDF, ePub eBook Hungry is a book about not only the hunger for food, but for risk, for reinvention, for creative breakthroughs, and for connection. Feeling stuck in his work and home life, writer Jeff Gordinier happened into a fateful meeting with Danish chef Ren� Redzepi, whose restaurant, Noma, has been called the best in the world. A restless perfectionist, Redzepi was at the top of his game Hungry is a book about not only the hunger for food, but for risk, for reinvention, for creative breakthroughs, and for connection. Feeling stuck in his work and home life, writer Jeff Gordinier happened into a fateful meeting with Danish chef Ren� Redzepi, whose restaurant, Noma, has been called the best in the world. A restless perfectionist, Redzepi was at the top of his game but was looking to tear it all down, to shutter his restaurant and set out for new places, flavors, and recipes. This is the story of the subsequent four years of globe-trotting culinary adventure, with Gordinier joining Redzepi as his Sancho Panza. In the jungle of the Yucat�n peninsula, Redzepi and his comrades go off-road in search of the perfect taco. In Sydney, they forage for sea rocket and sandpaper figs in suburban parks and on surf-lashed beaches. On a boat in the Arctic Circle, a lone fisherman guides them to what may or may not be his secret cache of the world's finest sea urchins. And back in Copenhagen, the quiet canal-lined city where Redzepi started it all, he plans the resurrection of his restaurant on the unlikely site of a garbage-filled lot. Along the way, readers meet Redzepi's merry band of friends and collaborators, including acclaimed chefs such as Danny Bowien, Kylie Kwong, Rosio S�nchez, David Chang, and Enrique Olvera.

30 review for Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Noma, René Redzepi’s restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark, has widely been considered the best in the world. In 2013, though, it suffered a fall from grace when some bad mussels led to a norovirus outbreak that affected dozens of customers. Redzepi wanted to shake things up and rebuild Noma’s reputation for culinary innovation, so in the four years that followed he also opened pop-up restaurants in Tulum, Mexico and Sydney, Australia. Journalist Jeff Gordinier, food and drinks editor at Esquire magazine, Noma, René Redzepi’s restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark, has widely been considered the best in the world. In 2013, though, it suffered a fall from grace when some bad mussels led to a norovirus outbreak that affected dozens of customers. Redzepi wanted to shake things up and rebuild Noma’s reputation for culinary innovation, so in the four years that followed he also opened pop-up restaurants in Tulum, Mexico and Sydney, Australia. Journalist Jeff Gordinier, food and drinks editor at Esquire magazine, went along for the ride and reports on the Noma team’s adventures, painting a portrait of a charismatic, driven chef. For foodies and newbies alike, it’s a brisk, delightful tour through world cuisine as well as a shrewd character study. See my full review at BookBrowse. (See also my article on the rise of the celebrity chef.)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    Food critic Jeff Gordinier travels the world with the esteemed chef Rene Redzepi in search of the world's best flavors. Redzepi is founder of Noma, a restaurant in Denmark often deemed the finest restaurant in the world. Despite his renown, Redzepi wants to close his restaurant, and start from scratch in new places with new recipes and tastes. Gordinier is a beautiful writer, filling the pages of this foodie travel narrative with fresh, almost brilliant comparisons that light up the z Food critic Jeff Gordinier travels the world with the esteemed chef Rene Redzepi in search of the world's best flavors. Redzepi is founder of Noma, a restaurant in Denmark often deemed the finest restaurant in the world. Despite his renown, Redzepi wants to close his restaurant, and start from scratch in new places with new recipes and tastes. Gordinier is a beautiful writer, filling the pages of this foodie travel narrative with fresh, almost brilliant comparisons that light up the zany words of the wildly creative chef and his crew. It's crazy to follow the adventures of this group of sensory-enhanced people, who seem to live to discover odd new flavor combinations. "It's like a whole new energy enters your body when you come out to these parts," one of the crew says. And it's true. The whole book is infused with this energy; it's like you eat the best meal of your life and you don't add a single calorie.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cat

    Gordinier is a stylish writer who draws compelling analogies between music and food, both forms of social capital reflective of the trends of the times, yet also sensuously engaging, potentially psychologically and viscerally revelatory experiences. He casts René Redzepi as a kind of Gatsby (he alludes to the novel in the book and even uses an epigraph from it for a chapter), building dream castles in the sky...or rather in Copenhagen, Sydney, and Tulum, Mexico. The best parts of the book were G Gordinier is a stylish writer who draws compelling analogies between music and food, both forms of social capital reflective of the trends of the times, yet also sensuously engaging, potentially psychologically and viscerally revelatory experiences. He casts René Redzepi as a kind of Gatsby (he alludes to the novel in the book and even uses an epigraph from it for a chapter), building dream castles in the sky...or rather in Copenhagen, Sydney, and Tulum, Mexico. The best parts of the book were Gordinier's own reflections on his failing marriage, his desire for escape and adventure through travel, his new love with a woman who shared those obsessions, and his ultimate philosophy that moving on is what life (and creativity) are all about. Also, some of Redzepi's research projects (like learning to master mole) are compelling topics; I'd love to taste the mole that is 364 days old and still cooking. And it is fascinating to read about all of his acolytes who brave crazy conditions to forage for him and to find local farmers and resources. Redzepi's locavore obsession appeals to me. And yet, at the same time, there is something in the very Gatsby-ness of this (haute cuisine as conspicuous consumption of the highest quality, rarest, most local ingredients) that is troubling, even when Redzepi goes to such lengths to learn from locals. Gordinier's feeling that Redzepi is a guru is tempered by his recognition of Redzepi's existential and personal restlessness. There is something dude-rific about this, though, and Gordinier as Carraway doesn't quite dismiss my feeling that these is some masculinist bravado in this particular cult of hunger. Still, a pleasure to read the prose, and I wish I could sample the meals. (Too bad I can't cough up $600 for a dinner.)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brandi

    Jeff Gordinier's "Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World" is quite an interesting read. Since it's part travelogue, and I really enjoy them, I quite enjoyed this book. I had never heard of Chef Redzepi before this book (I'm not much of a foodie) but he seems like quite an interesting character. I do wish the book was a bit longer, it is a rather quick read. I really enjoyed Gordinier's writing style and would not hesitate to buy more book Jeff Gordinier's "Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World" is quite an interesting read. Since it's part travelogue, and I really enjoy them, I quite enjoyed this book. I had never heard of Chef Redzepi before this book (I'm not much of a foodie) but he seems like quite an interesting character. I do wish the book was a bit longer, it is a rather quick read. I really enjoyed Gordinier's writing style and would not hesitate to buy more books of his in the future. My copy of this book was obtained from a Goodreads giveaway and I appreciate the opportunity to read and review it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    *This review is part of the Amazon Vine program. I've sat on this review for awhile just because I was having trouble with it. See, I wanted to like this book, it was about food and pushing the boundaries of cuisine. Seems like exciting stuff, right? And while it was for some of it, I just couldn't sink into the writing style or the story. It was too unapproachable for me. Gordinier is offered the chance to travel and work with Redzepi, the chef of the famous Noma. Redzepi *This review is part of the Amazon Vine program. I've sat on this review for awhile just because I was having trouble with it. See, I wanted to like this book, it was about food and pushing the boundaries of cuisine. Seems like exciting stuff, right? And while it was for some of it, I just couldn't sink into the writing style or the story. It was too unapproachable for me. Gordinier is offered the chance to travel and work with Redzepi, the chef of the famous Noma. Redzepi is looking to reinvent himself and the way people think about food again, and so the author gets to join him on his trips and discuss these ideas. It's a very descriptive book, and I will say that I loved the descriptions of the food. Unfortunately those seemed to take a seat behind the arguments, worries, and other such human drama that is present when you're working with restaurants. While it adds color, it's also distracting sometimes. Especially when Gordinier himself inserts some of his personal drama in, but not enough to make you feel good about it. In fact, I feel kind of bad for his families as he mentions them, but the descriptions of them don't really hold any warmth (except for maybe an initial description of the new girlfriend, after she makes wife status that warm fuzzy feeling suddenly is removed from the mentions). I don't know, I know he's not the book's purpose, but that just kind of turned me off of it a bit because I couldn't stop feeling sorry for his kids. It just made it hard to focus on the food. Memoir or biography, it's really hard to qualify this book. I think had it just been about Redzepi and the food and he left the memoir-ish parts out (as much as he could since he was traveling with the guy) it would have been a bit more engaging. More food descriptions, more travel, can't go wrong with that. Not one for me unfortunately. Review by M. Reynard 2019

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    I won an ARC in a Goodreads giveaway; this did not influence my review. Gordinier is an extremely intelligent writer but I found this book to be unfocused. One problem is that it seemed as if Gordinier never decided how, or if, to include himself in this book. At times he writes about chefs and food as an impartial observer, and it is easy to forget that he partook in their outings and meals. At other times, he shares small fragments of his own life - the fallout of his failed marriag I won an ARC in a Goodreads giveaway; this did not influence my review. Gordinier is an extremely intelligent writer but I found this book to be unfocused. One problem is that it seemed as if Gordinier never decided how, or if, to include himself in this book. At times he writes about chefs and food as an impartial observer, and it is easy to forget that he partook in their outings and meals. At other times, he shares small fragments of his own life - the fallout of his failed marriage or his willingness to spend his own money to join chef Redzepi on various adventures. The book is not a memoir, and not a biography of Redzepi. While Redzepi's restaurant, Noma, is a recurring theme it is not the sole focus, either. In addition, the book covers a span of four years, but it is often hard to track the passage of time. I enjoyed the passages about food (though there were fewer than I expected), and some of the sections about sourcing ingredients were fascinating, but I found this to be an odd book overall. Still, it is a quick read for those interested in learning more about one of the most esteemed chefs, or about his restaurant that was once considered the best in the world.

  7. 5 out of 5

    zhixin

    Hungry is such an exhilarating ride from start to end. Ex-NYT food writer Jeff Gordinier, while struggling to get over the breakdown of his marriage, is invited by Rene Redzepi to accompany him on his as-good-as spiritual quest to bring the Noma ideology to the world, summarised as follows: "he made terroir -- the soil, the climate, and the land that shape the flavor of the plant and the animal that eats it... the entire point of his cuisine." Noma is, with its revolutionary take on f Hungry is such an exhilarating ride from start to end. Ex-NYT food writer Jeff Gordinier, while struggling to get over the breakdown of his marriage, is invited by Rene Redzepi to accompany him on his as-good-as spiritual quest to bring the Noma ideology to the world, summarised as follows: "he made terroir -- the soil, the climate, and the land that shape the flavor of the plant and the animal that eats it... the entire point of his cuisine." Noma is, with its revolutionary take on food, currently one of the best restaurants in the world, and you'll be hard-pressed not to join its cult after this book. For what comes through isn't just downright drool-worthy descriptions of food, although there is an abundance of that. What mesmerises Gordinier, and hence the reader, is the sheer drive and work ethic of Redzepi, who conjures concoctions -- and restaurants -- out of literal ruins. He scours forests, beaches, seas and unhesitatingly puts foraged material into his mouth, a frightening idea to the urban dweller disconnected from nature (read: me). And then alchemy happens: raw ingredients are ground, pickled, sliced, pound, combined in previously unimagined ways; hours, days, months (and years?) go into individual dishes as animals or crops grow, fermentation transforms an item into a desired end state, and chefs meticulously distill ingredients to their purest form. When you finally read about a dish, you feel sure that it must come closest to a platonic ideal of deliciousness after learning about the process to procure its individual parts, what with diving into the chilliest of oceans, picking weeds from stark jutting cliffs, or returning to local farmers again and again to refine the growing process. In the hands of Redzepi, food-making is elevated into an art of the highest form. As Gordinier attempts to pick up the pieces of his life, he learns that yielding to Redzepi's force of character -- despite the spanner it throws into the gears of his existing lifestyle, what with having to settle his children, book last minute flights and accommodation, even quit his job -- is giving him a much-needed injection of elixir. A form of escapism, a see-what-comes attitude born out of a kind of desperation at hitting a wall, Gordinier regains his hunger for life from Redzepi's infectious energy. He's not the only one. Redzepi extends invitations to various individuals including Mission Chinese Food's chef Danny Bowien, recently hit by food-poisoning scandals, to join him in food-hunting at far-flung locations in Mexico and Australia. Hungry isn't just a story about Redzepi's perfectionist tendencies in having control over his food from farm to table. It is also about his generosity in including people in his life, giving them a well-timed gesture of encouragement. It is very much about the people, and how Redzepi tries his darnedest not to overlook human matters while moving the world with his restaurant. For me personally, Hungry made me want to broaden my palette and dive deeper into whatever cuisines I have the fortune to come across. Mexican cuisine starred largely in the book, stoking the fire of my curiosity and appetite towards a food culture I did not have much previous exposure or interest. What with watching Ugly Delicious and reading this book, I feel like there is a universe of flavours I have yet to access, and I'm bloody excited to try.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Woodman

    I read a review of this book in The Week a few weeks ago when I was catching up on back issues, which seems to be the way that I attack a weekly magazine these days--consuming a month or so of them in one sitting, and then adding all sorts of things I want to read to my library hold list as a result. That is how this book ended up on my list of things to read. I like reading about food and food preparation, but by and large, haven't got a lot of experience in this arena, and I probabl I read a review of this book in The Week a few weeks ago when I was catching up on back issues, which seems to be the way that I attack a weekly magazine these days--consuming a month or so of them in one sitting, and then adding all sorts of things I want to read to my library hold list as a result. That is how this book ended up on my list of things to read. I like reading about food and food preparation, but by and large, haven't got a lot of experience in this arena, and I probably wouldn't have thought that a book about Rene Redzepi's creative process would exactly be up my alley, but I really enjoyed this book about the architect of New Nordic cuisine, with what might be considered the fermenting bible having come out of his kitchen at Noma in Copenhagen to his credit. the thing I loved about him to start with is that he loves regional Mexican cooking, and that is undeniably the best complex flavored food i have ever had. One point he makes in his journey around the world and his return to Mexico is that there really is no improving on the flavors of the foods made all over Mexico, that they harness the potential of everything around them and make it soar. the book is short and largely sweet, and well worth a read if cooking is your thing.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Craig Werner

    High-end celebrity cooking as jazz improvisation. Gordinier spent four or five years circling around Rene Redzepi, whose Copenhagen restaurant was recognized world's best. Following that, Redzepi tore it all down and rebuilt it several times, in Japan, Australia, and Mexico before returning to a new location in Denmark. I can only dimly imagine some/most of the tastes but the sense of creative engagement comes through clearly and Gordinier's writing is frequently hilarious. Some points where I w High-end celebrity cooking as jazz improvisation. Gordinier spent four or five years circling around Rene Redzepi, whose Copenhagen restaurant was recognized world's best. Following that, Redzepi tore it all down and rebuilt it several times, in Japan, Australia, and Mexico before returning to a new location in Denmark. I can only dimly imagine some/most of the tastes but the sense of creative engagement comes through clearly and Gordinier's writing is frequently hilarious. Some points where I wanted more detail--we never really learn how Redzepi avoided disaster in Mexico--but a fun read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    The author was a food writer for the New York Times when he was offered an opportunity to travel visiting premier restaurants and chefs around the world, The book mostly covers his trips to Mexico and the Scandinavian countries. It is a travel log with no recipes. This was a free review copy obtained through Goodreads.com.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I read this because the author is speaking at a local lecture series and I have a ticket. It was an odd book. Mostly it was a profile of René Redzepi, a famous chef. But honestly, I could not tell you what the point of the book was; it was very disjointed. In fact, the only reason the book merits three stars is that Redzepi seems like a genuinely interesting guy. (I think he was also profiled on an episode of Parts Unknown--I'd watch that before reading this book.)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    A fun quick read that I got at a cookbook store in Seattle. No regrets.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeaninne Escallier Kato

    Thanks to a Goodreads contest, I won this book. Needless to say, when it arrived, I was less than enthusiastic because I do not like to cook (yet I adore the art of eating great food). However, being the honorable person that I am, I adhered to the promise that I would review it because it was part of the deal. If there is one thing I have learned in my long, fabulous life, the thought of doing something we think we might dread can often be like finding a diamond in the dirt. This boo Thanks to a Goodreads contest, I won this book. Needless to say, when it arrived, I was less than enthusiastic because I do not like to cook (yet I adore the art of eating great food). However, being the honorable person that I am, I adhered to the promise that I would review it because it was part of the deal. If there is one thing I have learned in my long, fabulous life, the thought of doing something we think we might dread can often be like finding a diamond in the dirt. This book is one of those arbitrary diamonds that are strewn few and far between in the dirt lots of my life. (Also, like the time I did not want to attend my freshman orientation to college in Idlewild, California; but, met one of the great loves of my life on that retreat.) Further proof that risk is the secret to living a worthwhile life. First, any book that starts off taking place in Oaxaca, Mexico, is a friend for life. I dove into the text like a teenager foraging in the fridge after school. I couldn't get enough. Jeff Gordinier does a masterful job of following the life of chef Rene Redzepi, owner of Noma restaurant in Copenhagen, which has been called one of the best restaurants in the world. The amalgamation of this passionate man and his quest for earth's bounty of natural foods had me riveted. I could never have imagined the drive, the creativity and the magic of foraging the earth for the greatest elixirs of nutrition that man can concoct. I had no idea that food could be so artistic and other-worldly. Second, the layers of what it takes to maintain a world-renown restaurant, soon to be many, are profound and complex. Jeff paints a picture of Rene, a humble man, who throws his heart, soul, passion and reputation on finding the best people to create the best ingredients in the best places. I was literally laughing and crying as I quietly cheered for Rene's success. When he hit up against gargantuan defeats, my heart hurt. When he turned those defeats into successes, I felt vindicated and relieved, as if they were my triumphs. You can't imagine the excitement I felt when I realized that I had eaten in one of Rene's favorite restaurants in Oaxaca, Mexico. Casa Oaxaca Café is the place I eat on my last night in Oaxaca as a gift to myself for living frugally each summer like the locals. I have even met the chef, another world-renown magician, Alejandro Ruiz. He is always pleased that I love his food and that I am so appreciative of the Oaxacan dining experience. I still can't believe that Rene Redzepi and I have covered the same ground in Mexico and have met the same people. (I am sure he has met the owners and chefs of my other favorite place, La Olla, in Oaxaca.) With every page, I felt as though Jeff was writing directly to me. I could go on and on about the dishes, but they are so magically incongruent, ancient, out of this world and just plain unbelievable, I will leave these surprises up to the reader. If I took away anything from this gastronomical journey, it is that before I die, I must make a reservation for Noma, whether it be in Denmark, Mexico or Australia, and taste the magic for myself.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    Author Gordinier, Esquire food and drink editor, was having a bit of a mid-life crisis. His marriage had just ended, and he was restless and depressed. Then Rene Redzepi, owner of world famous (but I’m not enough of a foodie-or at least, not a rich enough foodie, to have heard of it) Noma restaurant in Copenhagen. It was 2014 and Redzepi was burnt out, looking for new inspirations, and scared of losing his status as the world’s greatest chef. He decided it was time for a road trip, and Gordinier Author Gordinier, Esquire food and drink editor, was having a bit of a mid-life crisis. His marriage had just ended, and he was restless and depressed. Then Rene Redzepi, owner of world famous (but I’m not enough of a foodie-or at least, not a rich enough foodie, to have heard of it) Noma restaurant in Copenhagen. It was 2014 and Redzepi was burnt out, looking for new inspirations, and scared of losing his status as the world’s greatest chef. He decided it was time for a road trip, and Gordinier was invited. The multi-year road trip was hectic, strange, and it pulled him out of his slump. There were three main stops on the tour: Sydney, arctic Norway, and Mexico. Redzepi wanted to get into what the natives of these places ate, to try and bring something new to the elite world’s palates. He went with the natives of the areas to dig deep into their cuisines, dining on blood sausage, chicken hearts, prickly pears, avocado leaves, tropical fruits, chiles, nuts, palm sugar, tamarind paste, kelp, seawort, ant eggs, and grasshoppers. Then he planned a popup, and gathered his crew of fellow chefs. They tried the things the people brought them, they made new combinations, and they tried cooking them in various ways. Redzepi seems to have a hyperactive energy that he transmits to his crew. The popup runs into troubles, of course, and it ends up costing the select clientele $600 a plate. Which they happily pay, because they revere Redzepi in almost a cult like state. I found it interesting, but choppy to read. The saga takes place over a couple of years, so Gordinier necessarily jumps in and out of Redzepi’s adventures and his own life. I loved the parts about the food itself. I’m enough of a foodie that it made me hungry to try new foods and make up new combinations, to taste all these great things- minus the ant eggs. I’m not *that* much of a food adventurer. Four stars.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marathon County Public Library

    Step inside the restless, forward-thinking mind of one of the best chefs in the world with author Jeff Gordiner's account of years spent on-and-off with Rene Redzepi. Redzepi is the owner and head chef of Noma, the Copenhagen, Denmark restaurant consistently ranked one of the best (sometimes THE best) restaurants in the world. It's difficult to succinctly describe Noma, but it's safe to say the restaurant takes the locavore movement to the extreme - think seaweed and other vegetation Step inside the restless, forward-thinking mind of one of the best chefs in the world with author Jeff Gordiner's account of years spent on-and-off with Rene Redzepi. Redzepi is the owner and head chef of Noma, the Copenhagen, Denmark restaurant consistently ranked one of the best (sometimes THE best) restaurants in the world. It's difficult to succinctly describe Noma, but it's safe to say the restaurant takes the locavore movement to the extreme - think seaweed and other vegetation foraged from a local beach, fruit grown on-site and picked at the peak of ripeness hours before serving, or ingredients pickled or fermented in Noma's own fermentation lab. The staff use these ingredients and many others to create one-of-a-kind dishes that may never be recreated. And people come from all over the world to pay hundreds of dollars per meal for the experience. Gordinier paints a detailed portrait of Redzepi, who is never content to cruise but constantly challenges himself and his staff to create new combinations of food which, in turn, challenges the palettes of his diners. (Two examples: sea urchin and hazelnuts, deliciously described by Gordinier; and ice cream with a crust of ants. Yes, ants.) We travel with Redzepi and his team as they create pop-up Noma restaurants in Australia and Mexico and learn what it takes to create a world-class restaurant basically from scratch. We also follow along as Redzepi works to tear down the original Noma to create a second version unlike any other restaurant in the world. Part biography, part memoir - Gordinier shares just enough about himself and why he took part in these adventures - and part travelogue, "Hungry" is an interesting look at the world of high-end restaurants, and a unique and visionary chef, that foodies and non-foodies alike would enjoy. Chad D. / Marathon County Public Library

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tejas Sathian

    A fun and quick read about Rene Redzepi, Noma, and the colorful cast of characters Redzepi rounds up to travel the world in search of culinary nirvana. Much of the action takes place between Copenhagen (the home of Noma, and the magical fairy tale city that inspired Walt Disney) and Mexico, whose food had always challenged and inspired Redzepi. Redzepi's varied origins (his father an Albanian Muslim, his mother a Dane with roots in various parts of Europe) shape his view of flavors as inherently A fun and quick read about Rene Redzepi, Noma, and the colorful cast of characters Redzepi rounds up to travel the world in search of culinary nirvana. Much of the action takes place between Copenhagen (the home of Noma, and the magical fairy tale city that inspired Walt Disney) and Mexico, whose food had always challenged and inspired Redzepi. Redzepi's varied origins (his father an Albanian Muslim, his mother a Dane with roots in various parts of Europe) shape his view of flavors as inherently cosmopolitan and lead him to scoff at critics who dub him a Nordic supremacist. That parallels the cosmopolitan range of the Noma team: Rosio Sanchez, Marcus Livingston, Junichiro Takashi, and others along the way including the Australian foragers and the local guides in various parts of Mexico. An obsession with finding the world's best ingredients (sea urchin dived in secret North Atlantic locations, tomatoes grown by natives in the Yucatan, the various nuts and spices and flavors that go into a mole) leads to some of the world's most special food. Redezepi's drive to always be improving and to make Noma stand the test of time (as a cultural institution that outlives him) is evident in his Saturday night experimentation sessions, his shutting down the world's greatest restaurant at its peak in order to pursue quixotic pop ups in new corners of the world, and in his fervent pursuit for ingredients and philosophical sentiments about food and its role in a turbulent, fragile world. This book inspired me to visit Noma if I can ever get a reservation, and to delve deeper into Mexican food - a cuisine shaped by migrants, defined by great ingredients, and still too little understood. My next mission is to learn to make a Oaxacan style mole!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    So...I wasn't sure what I was going to think about this book when I got an arc to read - I just knew that it sounded interesting, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Now that I've finished it? I'm *still* not sure about the book, other than I know I liked it. It's sort of like what a prepared dish is like - disparate elements brought together to make the whole more interesting. Gordinier may not be a chef per se, but he creates with words - and the finished piece is more than I would have expected. So...I wasn't sure what I was going to think about this book when I got an arc to read - I just knew that it sounded interesting, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Now that I've finished it? I'm *still* not sure about the book, other than I know I liked it. It's sort of like what a prepared dish is like - disparate elements brought together to make the whole more interesting. Gordinier may not be a chef per se, but he creates with words - and the finished piece is more than I would have expected. It's a little bit memoir, briefly hitting points about the dissolution of his marriage at the time of his first real introduction to Redzepi, the driving force behind Noma. It hits biography as it covers Redzepi's end of Noma, his pop-ups, and the new Noma. It is travelogue - Mexico plays a LARGE part here. It is philosophy, as all the pieces come together in ways unexpected and eye-opening. For a shortish book, it really manages to cover a lot - something I would expect a dish at Noma might be like. Long story short - for anyone interested in cooking, in Noma, in Mexico, or just curious - it really is an interesting book and well worth reading.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    I am a foodie, and this book was entertainly written. But after spending many chapters with Ren Rezdepi (sp?) and his cult, I got very tired of him and his obsessive taste buds and his acolytes chasing after this exotic delicacy and that. By the end I did not crave to eat his food -- rather, I craved a bowl of Rice Krispies, milk, and extra sugar (hold the sea urchin)! And I began to think of the fall of the Roman Empire, and associated food mania. Seriously, slicing open clams with needles? Thi I am a foodie, and this book was entertainly written. But after spending many chapters with Ren Rezdepi (sp?) and his cult, I got very tired of him and his obsessive taste buds and his acolytes chasing after this exotic delicacy and that. By the end I did not crave to eat his food -- rather, I craved a bowl of Rice Krispies, milk, and extra sugar (hold the sea urchin)! And I began to think of the fall of the Roman Empire, and associated food mania. Seriously, slicing open clams with needles? This is not food for the people. This is one-upsmanship dining for rich people with bored palates. It helps me understand why Anthony Bourdain committed suicide. Eventually, the palate must sate with new sensations, just as there's limit to how fast you can get heroin into your head. Please pass me a bowl of Spaghetti Amatriciana, with extra Parmesan!

  19. 5 out of 5

    C.

    I enjoyed Jeff Gordiner's quirky and intriguing take on superstar chef René Redzepi's attempt to change his culinary path as he deals with personal and professional crises. Redzepi is burned out and hits the road to reinvent himself, and Gordiner bring us along for the ride. It's equal parts food book, travel/adventure story, and memoir, and Gordiner does a fine job of weaving it all together. At his best, Gordiner is charming and witty and his (and Redzipi's) enthusiasm is infectious. Things do I enjoyed Jeff Gordiner's quirky and intriguing take on superstar chef René Redzepi's attempt to change his culinary path as he deals with personal and professional crises. Redzepi is burned out and hits the road to reinvent himself, and Gordiner bring us along for the ride. It's equal parts food book, travel/adventure story, and memoir, and Gordiner does a fine job of weaving it all together. At his best, Gordiner is charming and witty and his (and Redzipi's) enthusiasm is infectious. Things do get a bit gonzo at times, both with the behaviors and the food. (There is some seriously crazy food in here -- certainly well out of my experience and comfort zone!) But whenever it seems like things are veering out of control, Gordiner rights the ship and stays focused on his story. The lushness and vividness of Gordiner's prose is the best thing about his book. When he takes us to a local marketplace or restaurant, we see, smell, hear, feel, and taste what he does. That's a great thing in any book, but in a book about food, it's essential. Recommended. (Thank you to Tim Duggan Books for a complimentary copy in exchange for an unbiased review.)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brad Revell

    My review is here: https://www.bradrevell.com/?p=1388 Three key takeaways from the book: 1. One should always be exploring and experimenting in their respective fields to push the envelope. Redzepi clearly has a fire inside of him to continue this and it is something we should all aspire to! 2. In relation to the above, there is also balance. There have been times where Redzepi has pushed too far and nearly bankrupted his business on getting it to the next level. I’m a believer in hard work but sometimes slow a My review is here: https://www.bradrevell.com/?p=1388 Three key takeaways from the book: 1. One should always be exploring and experimenting in their respective fields to push the envelope. Redzepi clearly has a fire inside of him to continue this and it is something we should all aspire to! 2. In relation to the above, there is also balance. There have been times where Redzepi has pushed too far and nearly bankrupted his business on getting it to the next level. I’m a believer in hard work but sometimes slow and incremental changes may make more sense than large jumps with attached risk. 3. I need to go and experience Noma! Something I’m going to try to do next year if I can get a seat at the table.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    A world vacation, carnival, and philosophical rollercoaster is just the start of how I could describe this delightful slice of the wonderful world of Noma. Gordinier does Redzepi justice by painting him as a human (albeit one with futuristic ideas and fanatic execution) instead of a god among men. His depiction exudes his own respect and amazement of the chef and his team, and so we are enveloped in the same sentiment. To tell the truth I was primed for this ride. My own sense of adventure and d A world vacation, carnival, and philosophical rollercoaster is just the start of how I could describe this delightful slice of the wonderful world of Noma. Gordinier does Redzepi justice by painting him as a human (albeit one with futuristic ideas and fanatic execution) instead of a god among men. His depiction exudes his own respect and amazement of the chef and his team, and so we are enveloped in the same sentiment. To tell the truth I was primed for this ride. My own sense of adventure and desire to partake in the culinary bucket list that is Noma made me an easy target. I loved every single moment of this kaleidoscope of food, culture, history, and atmosphere. All I can say is, more please, Mr. Gordinier!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sae Lyun

    Not a conventional kind of memoir (includes significant portions of food and travel writing which are weaved well into the narrative), but I thought the format worked well. I liked the snippets about many other people throughout the book and didn’t think it was obnoxious, though in theory it should have seemed so. The book also humanized Noma (and Redzepi to a degree). All that attention and fame had definitely contributed to an idea that the restaurant and the team behind it are absolutely impe Not a conventional kind of memoir (includes significant portions of food and travel writing which are weaved well into the narrative), but I thought the format worked well. I liked the snippets about many other people throughout the book and didn’t think it was obnoxious, though in theory it should have seemed so. The book also humanized Noma (and Redzepi to a degree). All that attention and fame had definitely contributed to an idea that the restaurant and the team behind it are absolutely impeccable and legendary. Reading about them from a close, behind-the-scenes perspective was fascinating.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    This is part memoir, part travel narrative, and part chef's profile. You could also call it a coming-of-age saga, with the age being gloriously middle. Jeff Gordinier writes about food (and music and culture) with a poet's elegance. I’m inspired to study his technique. I mean, the way he describes mole sauce: "Mole could be red. Mole could be yellow. Mole could be green. Mole could be black. Mole could be so black, in fact -- conjured from the charred parchment of chiles that had been burned to This is part memoir, part travel narrative, and part chef's profile. You could also call it a coming-of-age saga, with the age being gloriously middle. Jeff Gordinier writes about food (and music and culture) with a poet's elegance. I’m inspired to study his technique. I mean, the way he describes mole sauce: "Mole could be red. Mole could be yellow. Mole could be green. Mole could be black. Mole could be so black, in fact -- conjured from the charred parchment of chiles that had been burned to the brink of outright ash -- that is was like a Goth bisque. Imagine eating flakes of night." I swoon. [I received an ARC of this book through Penguin's First to Read program.]

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elyse

    Penguin First-to-Read ARC. This was a short book. I think it could've been longer and would've liked more photos, of the people, of the food, of the scenery, etc. It wasn't a bad book at all. It held my interest and was an good read but it was nothing special. I have no idea who René Redzepi is. None of the chefs were familiar to me. Not rich enough to know who they are!! lol. And apparently not rich enough to be insects, so hey, I'm okay with that. And I just Googled him, saw his photo. Wel Penguin First-to-Read ARC. This was a short book. I think it could've been longer and would've liked more photos, of the people, of the food, of the scenery, etc. It wasn't a bad book at all. It held my interest and was an good read but it was nothing special. I have no idea who René Redzepi is. None of the chefs were familiar to me. Not rich enough to know who they are!! lol. And apparently not rich enough to be insects, so hey, I'm okay with that. And I just Googled him, saw his photo. Well then. I read this book thinking he was in his 60's, white hair, etc. No, he's 41! He's less than 10 years older than me! This changes everything!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dan Gibson

    I find the wild Noma hype a little befuddling - when they reopened a while back, every food media outlet seemed to have someone there to review a meal that a) wouldn’t functionally exist in that form again and b) is wildly inaccessible by cost, opportunity and distance from nearly all of their audiences. But Gordinier does an excellent job of making a case for Redezpi as a genius, someone who’s thinking could change the food world (and maybe it already has). It’s a great extended profile mixed w I find the wild Noma hype a little befuddling - when they reopened a while back, every food media outlet seemed to have someone there to review a meal that a) wouldn’t functionally exist in that form again and b) is wildly inaccessible by cost, opportunity and distance from nearly all of their audiences. But Gordinier does an excellent job of making a case for Redezpi as a genius, someone who’s thinking could change the food world (and maybe it already has). It’s a great extended profile mixed with the author’s joy of self-discovery and evolution, even if I still might not need to read anything about Noma ever again.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    Hungry by Jeff Gordinier is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early July. Definitely a journeyman’s book with roving and haste and such while the humble Gordinier follows around chef Rene Redzepi, a purist, conservationist, and all about properly sourcing food. He also has his own posse where he and them each share their own setbacks and weaknesses, and use travel to reclaim their passions and senses and use ingredients and dishes to challenge local fare.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    A very interesting look at the “behind the scenes” life of a chef. This book was a delight to read. It was an eye-opening look at what it takes to create menus at some of the best restaurants in the world. I loved the idea of working with what is local and thinking of how the indigenous ancestors of the land would have eaten to survive. The writing style was creative and enjoyable, and the food descriptions were very tempting.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Al tempted to give it 5 stars, but I do save that for the transcendent. This book is equal parts food, culture, travel and damn good writing. I inhaled it. If you’re stuck at home this summer or even lucky enough to be stuck on the beach for a few hours, this book will transport you to Norway, Australia and Mexico. I loved it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Asta

    If it was the author's intent to write a cautionary tale about the toll today's star chef culture takes on those directly involved in it, then he has succeeded. I came away from this feeling sorry for René Redzepi and all the Noma crews. No plate of food is worth this much obsession.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Yvette

    “People called him the best chef in the world and yet you could see in his eyes the blunt, wistful realization that he’d never get the art of the tortilla the way a sizable portion of the female population of Mexico had mastered it.”

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