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  • Hungry

  • Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World
  • Written by: Jeff Gordinier
  • Narrated by: Jeff Gordinier
  • Length: 6 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Home & Garden, Food & Wine
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A food critic chronicles four years spent traveling with René Redzepi, the renowned chef of Noma, in search of the most tantalizing flavors the world has to offer.

"If you want to understand modern restaurant culture, you need to read this book." (Ruth Reichl, author of Save Me the Plums)

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 René 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 Yucatán 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, listeners meet Redzepi’s merry band of friends and collaborators, including acclaimed chefs such as Danny Bowien, Kylie Kwong, Rosio Sánchez, David Chang, and Enrique Olvera.

Hungry is a memoir, a travelogue, a portrait of a chef, and a chronicle of the moment when daredevil cooking became the most exciting and groundbreaking form of artistry.

Praise for Hungry

“In Hungry, Gordinier invokes such playful and lush prose that the scents of mole, chiles, and even lingonberry juice waft off the page.” (Time)

“This wonderful book is really about the adventures of two men: a great chef and a great journalist. Hungry is a feast for the senses, filled with complex passion and joy, bursting with life. Not only did Jeff Gordinier make me want to jump on the next flight (to Mexico, Copenhagen, Sydney) in search of the perfect meal, but he also reminded me to stop and savor the ride.” (Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance)

©2019 Jeff Gordinier (P)2019 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"If you want to understand modern restaurant culture, you need to read this book. Gordinier takes us into the fabulously obsessive realm of the world’s most fascinating chef - and he does it with the voice of a poet. You will remember this every time you go out to eat." (Ruth Reichl, author of Save Me the Plums)

“This wonderful book is really about the adventures of two men: a great chef and a great journalist. Hungry is a feast for the senses, filled with complex passion and joy, bursting with life. Not only did Jeff Gordinier make me want to jump on the next flight (to Mexico, Copenhagen, Sydney) in search of the perfect meal, but he also reminded me to stop and savor the ride.” (Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance

“A piece of writing as breathless and as urgent as its subject. Wonderful all-in, full-on story telling. I read as I might eat a meal when I’m really, really hungry: all in one sitting.” (Bill Buford, author of Heat)

What listeners say about Hungry

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  • Overall
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  • MBS
  • 2019-08-16

disappointing story and awkward narration

Gordinier's choppy, self-consciously slow speaking style makes this hard going. The passages about personal struggles and renewal seemed perfunctory. I never got a sense of the stakes involved in a mid-life divorce with two children or the arrival of twins. As a trained chef and avid reader of chef memoirs, I found this a bit too unquestioningly admiring of Rene Redzepi. Gordinier seems more like a a roadie for Redzepi than a journalist in search of a balanced narrative. I came away without a clear understanding of why Redzepi is obsessed with change, seemingly for its own sake. Not very illuminating.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Robert L. Marquis
  • 2020-02-01

Well written, poignant

Look at a unique, interesting, influential culinarian doing his best for his staff, guests and world at large

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  • Kimberly
  • 2020-01-07

somewhat boring for a casual interest...

I think if you are a foodie very into fine dining this could be good. as more of a casual dinner with an interest in the how to s and creative side of cooking, this seemed more about the people and less about food.

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  • PIGMEU - #DETUDOUMPORCO
  • 2019-11-24

Travel with the Noma team(audiook read by author)

I was travelling with the Noma team, observing them, each time i pressed play! The story is really well conducted. The adjectivation, the images created, every description, lets you closer and closer to this super hero gang of chefs travelling the world and back to copenhagen! The way Jeff describes how each chef thinks and composes plates and flavours is some of the best work I've seen on any gastronomic book! thank you Jeff for taking the care of narating the book yourself! I'm sad that this Journey is Over It was really good to travel with this guys every day on my way to work!

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  • Kyle
  • 2019-10-03

I was left wondering if Rene was depressed?

I love the drive Rene has to continue to innovate and reinvent. I resonate with it, which inspires me to keep moving forward myself, taking big risks. However, at parts, the way Jeff Gordinier writes about it Redzepi you are left wondering if he is actually sick or depressed. And this is not to say I didn't immensely enjoy the book, I just ended up being worried about the guy. In the day and age where mental health is at the forefront, it seems like Redzepi is on a path where he will eventually collapse. I truly hope not, but I also hope that if that is the case he gets the help he needs or finds peace somewhere along the way.

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  • JSC
  • 2019-09-13

I really. Enjoyed. This book.

I like the book and I like the authors voice, but please. Stop. Talking like. This. When you’re. Are reading. The book. It’s really. God damn. Annoying.

It sounds like every other world sounds like it has apostrophes or periods before and after, but just crank up the playback speed and u won’t notice it as much. Still a great book and a good performance

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  • J. P. Kruse
  • 2019-08-22

Say yes to adventure

absolutely loved it! Jeff's tale of growth, change, and adventure is one we should all aspire to imitate! Get uncomfortable, try something new, say "yes" to adventure, even if it doesn't seem "responsible". You only have one life to live, no redos, so make it your best.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-07-21

powerful, elegant and delicious!

I loved this book so much that I read it AND am listening to it. Jeff is an amazing storyteller - and it's awesome to listen to him narrate his story. It's powerful. The prose is elegant. It makes the mouth water, the mind contemplate and the soul reflect.