Dancing Spoon: Heat
Heat is Buford’s odyssey from chaotic home cook (“more confident than competent”) to culinary spiritualist. His book chronicles Mario Batali’s rise to fame (Batali’s Italy becomes part of Buford’s quest), the inner-workings of the restaurant world, and Buford’s culinary journey to Italy culminating in his “theory of smallness.” The journey begins through a birthday dinner party Buford hosted for a friend. Among the guests was Batali (“the most recognized chef in a city with more chefs than any other city in the world ”), who promptly took over the kitchen. From that meeting with Mario, Buford discovered “he wanted the know-how of people who ran restaurants.” To do that he needed to become a kitchen slave and Mario admitted him to restaurant world as a kitchen slave in Mario’s New York restaurant, Babbo.