Sunday, September 30, 2007

Section 2 Summary, Personal Reaction, and Loaded Words

My Ten Loaded Words:
1. Ballet (55)
-Has a positive connotation, and presents an idea of grace about the cook-lines' operations.
2. Mindless (56)
-Has a negative connotation, describing the refined monotony of the cook-line.
3. Punks (57)
-Has a negative connotation, showing Bourdain's opinion of the "mentally weak" American chefs; ignorant and egotistical.
4. Mystical (60)
-Has a positive connotation, describing the methodical, and even superstitious "feng-shui" of a chef's working station.
5. Submarine-Like (61)
-Has a negative connotation, expressing the cramped feeling the grill and saute workers experience at their boiling hot station.
6. Artists (62)
-Has a negative connotation, explaining Bourdain's view of annoying, high maintenance cooks whose delusions of grandeur irritate their co-workers.
7. Biohazard (67)
-Has a negative connotation, used to describe hollandaise sauce, which is apparently a breeding ground for bacteria.
8. Rube (69)
-Has a negative connotation, illustrating foolish people who are actually willing to pay for a meal that is cooked well done, and in doing so recieve the bottom of the barrel scraps that have been held over until their arrival.
9. Reassuring (75)
-Has a positive connotation; this is one of the feelings that Bourdain encounters when eating simple, homemade food.
10. Boner (76)
-Has a negative connotation; Bourdain sarcastically describes people who get themselves excessively worked up over shiny, brand name cookware.

Bourdain describes less of the actual characters he encounters, but rather focuses on the general goings-on and mood of the cook-line; it is a place of repetition and copies. The purpose is to make the same dish people like exactly the same way again and again. He also touches on traditions and methods in the kitchen, as well as what tools are essential for excellent food coming from a non professional, freely giving his opinion of scams, cons, and commercialized ideas. Bourdain then ends with a vague, yet very focused look onto the man whom he credits for teaching him how to be a professional, and how to run a successful operation in the restaurant world.

I find it interesting how Bourdain frequently jumps between life stories, general knowledge, and sarcastic(yet helpful) advice throughout this second section. He conveys an intimate feel of the kitchen and what happens inside it, as well as providing a detailed background into the mind of a successful chef and restaurateur.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Outside Reading; section one summary and reaction

Section One summary:
In the first 52 pages, Anthony Bourdain introduces himself and his entry into the underground culinary world; from his early food experiences in France as a child, to his adventures at the mediocre Dreadnaught restaurant. After an embarrassing encounter with the skilled chefs of the rival "Mario-Crew", Bourdain promises himself that he will become a truly excellent chef, and heads to the Culinary Institute of America to gain some proficiency in the field of cooking. Upon returning, he and a member of the Mario-Crew create a highly successful local business that prepares stylish meals for high level clientèle.

Anthony Bourdain tells his story with simple language that is accentuated with elegant cooking terms and insight into a world that most people outside the kitchen don't know. It's interesting how he's shown that the culinary world of his early days was a low class place with colorful people who were rarely educated, and valued flair and skills above class and morals.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

NPR "this i believe"

"Be Cool" by Christian McBride

His belief: People need to slow down, and relax; they need to "be cool".

2 examples showing this belief:

-" I believe people have become tighter, meaner and less tolerant than ever."
-"Most people in this day and age are always terribly stressed and hypersensitive to absolutely everything. They will age quickly. Cool people stay young forever."

Favorite Passage:
"As for the Internet, it amazes me that when you walk into a Starbucks, it looks like CompUSA with all the doggone laptops and people stressing out over whatever."

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Two Questions Assignment

1) The main thing that has me anxious about school at EHS isn't that much more pressing compared with other issues on my mind, but since i have to choose, i would say that it is successfully handling the workload (this includes getting good grades) while still managing to enjoy myself a bit. I like to focus on my work, but at the same time i want to avoid burying myself in it and isolating myself from the things and people i enjoy.

2) A goal that i have for myself in my sophomore year is to make the most of my school year; this includes getting A's (or some form of it) in the majority of my classes, preparing myself for college and the tests that lead up to it, and making new friends while spending time with my current ones. If i can complete this, then that means i'll have enjoyed my year, while successfully navigating it academically.