Analysis Of Bill Buford

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Bill Buford, New York Times writer, and avid home cook, unsuspectedly steps into the chaos of Babbo, an Italian restaurant owned by the boisterous, Mario Batali. His quiet and orderly life is shattered by the disorder and ruthlessness of a Michelin star kitchen. While Bill’s superego controls many aspects of his life, he is mostly driven by his id in the kitchen. When first beginning his tenure in the kitchen, Bill carried with him his superego drive, often incorporating his New York upper-middle class societal ideals into his manners and actions. These ideals which include politeness, orderliness, and a strive for perfection are often overshadowed and defeated by the chaotic environment of the kitchen and the self-centered nature of the…show more content…
The ego acts as a mediator between the impulses and desires of the id, and the external world. In Italy, the pace of life is much slower than in the kitchen of Babbo, creating less of a “me and now” environment, and more of a caring and nurturing one. This shift in environments can be seen in Bill’s shift in attitude towards the kitchen. Instead of coming over as a slave of the cooking line, as he was in Babbo, Bill arrives in Italy as an apprentice, ready to learn and improve. In reality, Bill was as much of a slave in Italy as he was in Babbo, often working all day on one dish. However, unlike Babbo, Bill was driven by his rational ego, and instead of harboring aggressive thoughts when ridiculed, he kept calm and learned from his faults. Often times, Dario, Bill’s instructor, would yell, scream, and curse at Bill, but instead of absorbing the aggression and retaliating, Bill improves…show more content…
The Babbo kitchen is a breeder of realistic anxiety with its chaotic and fast-moving nature. On the weekends, when hundreds of guest come for dinner, and orders keep coming in, Bill is overwhelmed with stress. In addition to the constant influx of dishes, the kitchen environment itself creates anxiety for Bill. The immense heat radiated from the stove-tops, and the sharpness of the knives, all create an anxiety-filled environment. One night, during service, Bill slices his fingertip while preparing meat, forcing him to bandage his hand. However, in order to tell if the meat is cooked, Bill must use hand, unbandaged. For the duration of the night, Bill uses his freshly wounded hand to touch sizzling meat, opening his wound and creating immense pain. These circumstances frequently occur to chefs; however, since Bill is just a home cook, the dangers of the kitchen lead to him experiencing realistic

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