Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking
By Bill Buford
A highly obsessive, hilariously self-deprecating account of the world of French haute cuisine, from the author of the best-selling modern classic, Heat. In Dirt, Bill Buford turns his inimitable attention to the food of France. Baffled by the language, but convinced that he can master the art of French cooking--or at least get to the bottom of why it is so revered--he begins what becomes a five-year odyssey by shadowing the esteemed French chef Michel Richard, in Washington, D.C. But when Buford (quickly) realizes that a stage in France is necessary, he--with his wife and three-year-old twin sons in tow--travel to Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France. Studying at L'Institut Bocuse, cooking at the storied, Michelin-starred La Mère Brazier, enduring the endless hours and exacting rigeur of the kitchen, Buford becomes a man obsessed--with proving himself on the line, proving that he is worthy of the gastronomic secrets he's learning, and proving that French cooking actually derives from (mon dieu!) the Italian. With his signature humor, sense of adventure, and masterly ability to immerse himself--and us--in his surroundings, Bill Buford has written the definitive deep dive into the world of French cuisine.