It was a week of shock and loss.
With the suicides of Kate Spade, 55 (June 5)
and Anthony Bourdain, 61 (June 8).
Bourdain’s last cookbook, Appetites, published in 2016, has been on my kitchen counter during the day and on my bedside table at night, since I bought it at a yard sale last week.
I got a couple of other great cookbooks from a woman who was culling her collection. When I asked her what kind of cooking she did, she said she loved baking best. I can now see why Appetites made it to the lawn. In the book, Bourdain himself admits that he’s not much for dessert, except for cheese.
Appetites is unlike any other cookbook I own, and it’s verve and energy is almost palpable on the page. The other volumes I acquired have not yet been opened—it is Bourdain’s that intrigues and inspires me. This is not a precious coffee table tome, it’s practical, approachable, and as the author states, They are the recipes that ‘work,’ meaning they’ve been developed over time and have been informed by repetition and long—and often painful—experience.
I’ve already cooked a few: I splattered grease and sauce on the page of MEAT LOAF WITH MUSHROOM GRAVY, which was awesome by the way, and the killer sauce was also wonderful the next day with his roasted chicken. Both were big hits with my family.
ROAST CHICKEN WITH LEMON AND BUTTER.
Written as a family cookbook, these are the workhorse, tried-and-true recipes that the famous chef enjoyed cooking for his friends and family—especially his daughter Ariane.
It’s dedicated to her and her buddy Jacques, their faces obscured by beets.
Which makes the week’s news all the more tragic: Frances Spade, 13, lost a mother; Ariane Bourdain, 11, lost a father.
Now as I turn the pages, my thoughts are with the girl with the blue nail polish.