I'm currently paused on page 61 of Anthony Bourdain's newest memoir, Medium Raw, in which the ex-chef, as usual, litters his prose with "fuck," "fucked," "fucking" and "motherfucker" while sucking us in with his drama-filled, demented stories of sexual encounters, drug-filled hazes and, for good measure, the day he watched Old Yeller with his parents, only to witness the poor old dog's brains being blown out, an incident that led Bourdain to believe that "life was clearly a cruel joke."
But the contest that Bourdain is currently pimping, one in which he's asking his groupies to pen a 500-word (or less) essay answering the philosophical question "What does it mean to cook food well?" isn't a joke. In fact, the victor, whom the almighty Bourdain will hand-select, will get his or her words published as a new chapter in the paperback edition of Medium Raw, which will be released later this year.
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But here's where life gets cruel: Bourdain isn't paying the winner a damn cent for their work, which really kinda sucks. I mean, there are plenty of advertisements on Craigslist from scum-of-the-earth scammers soliciting writers who will, inexplicably, write for no other reason than the "opportunity to have a byline," but this is Tony Bourdain, for chrissakes, who makes millions and change. And he can't pony up a few bucks to pay the person whose words will undoubtedly be written over blood, sweat and tears?
Then again, laying claim to your own chapter in Bourdain's book is a whole lot better than a cameo on Glee. In any case, if you want to enter, go to the book's website, which also includes a directional video from Bourdain, and there's not one f-bomb in the entire 42-second spiel.