|Born||1954 (age 66–67)|
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley|
King's College, Cambridge
|Literary movement||Dirty realism|
|Notable works||Among the Thugs; Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany; Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking|
|Spouse||Jessica Green, m. 2002|
Bill Buford (born 1954) is an American author and journalist. Buford is the author of the books Among the Thugs and Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany.
He was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and raised in Southern California, attending the University of California, Berkeley from 1973 to 1977, before moving to King's College, University of Cambridge, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar until 1979. He remained in England for most of the 1980s.
Buford is credited with coining the term "dirty realism".
Among the Thugs (1991) is presented as an insider's account of the world of (primarily) English football hooliganism. His chief thesis is that the traditional sociological account of crowd theory fails to understand the often complex problem of football violence as a particularly English working-class phenomenon. His book, based on years of exhaustive first-hand research as an 'outsider'—in terms of both his background and his position as a member of the journalistic community—is considered by some to be one of the great social-research documents.
Heat (2006) is Buford's account of working for free in the kitchen of Babbo, a New York City restaurant owned by chef Mario Batali. Buford's premise is that he considered himself a capable home cook and wondered whether he had the skills to work in a busy restaurant kitchen. He met Batali at a dinner party and asked whether he would take on Buford as his "kitchen bitch".
Buford began his time at Babbo in a variety of roles including dishwasher, prep cook, garbage remover and any other role demanded of him. Over the course of the book, his skills improve and he is able to butcher a hog and work many stations in the restaurant; he traveled to Italy to meet cooks and chefs who were crucial to Batali's early culinary development, as Buford worked and lived in some of the places Batali honed his craft.
Subsequently, Buford started working on a book on French cuisine. In October 2007, his article titled "Extreme Chocolate: The Quest for the Perfect Bean" was published in The New Yorker. It described his world travels with a leader in the world of gourmet dark chocolate, Fred Schilling of Dagoba Chocolates.
Buford's article "Cooking with Daniel: Three French Classics", about his experience cooking with French chef Daniel Boulud, was published in the July 29, 2013, issue of The New Yorker. In an interview posted on The New Yorker's website to accompany the article, he discussed his time living in France and what he had learned about French cooking. The book-length treatment of Buford's time in Lyon, from December 2008 to September 2013, appeared in 2020 as Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking. It details stints working with "Bob," baker at the boulangerie Philippe Richard, attending classes at the Institut Paul Bocuse, and, at greatest length, as a stagiaire at La Mère Brazier.
Salman Rushdie's The Enchantress of Florence (2008) is dedicated "to Bill Buford".
As an editor
Buford relaunched the then-defunct literary magazine Granta in 1979. Under his leadership that journal became highly influential and "rose to conquer the literary world." He edited it until 1995, when he left to become the fiction editor of The New Yorker. In 2002, The New Yorker announced that he would leave the latter position at the beginning of 2003, to be replaced by Deborah Treisman, his deputy whom he had recruited to the magazine. He remains on its staff.
- Buford, Bill (1991). Among the Thugs.
- — (2006). Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany. New York: Knopf. ISBN 978-1400041206.
- — (2020). Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking. Knopf.
Essays and reporting
- Buford, Bill (5 January 1998). "Thy Neighbor's Wife: Why Are Telescopes So Popular?". The New Yorker. Vol. 73 no. 41. pp. 36–37. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
- Buford, Bill (26 April 1999). "Sweat is Good". The New Yorker. Vol. 75 no. 9. pp. 130–139. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
- Buford, Bill (29 October 2007). "Extreme Chocolate: The Quest for the Perfect Bean". The New Yorker. Vol. 83 no. 33. pp. 68–79. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
- Buford, Bill (29 July 2013). "Cooking with Daniel". The New Yorker. Vol. 89 no. 22. pp. 46–5. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
- Buford, Bill (4 May 2015). "Four Little Pigs". The Talk of the Town. Dept. of Gastronomy. The New Yorker. Vol. 91 no. 11. p. 19. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- Buford, Bill (12 October 2015). "The Presidential Clean-Plate Club". The New Yorker. Vol. 91 no. 31. pp. 36–38. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
- Buford, Bill (23 January 2018). "The First Time I Met Paul Bocuse". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Buford, Bill (6 April 2020). "Baking Bread in Lyon". The New Yorker. Vol. 96 no. 8. pp. 26–33. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Bolton, Chris. "Powell's Books review". Powells.com. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Metacritic.com review Archived 10 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Buford, Bill (21 August 2007). "Bill Buford reads from his kitchen memoir, 'Heat'". Npr.org. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Will work for food
- Adam Mars-Jones (9 July 2006). "What a carve-up". Books.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Buford, Bill (21 July 2013). "Bill Buford: Cooking French Classics with Chef Daniel Boulud". The New Yorker. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- New, The (21 July 2013). "Out Loud: Bill Buford on French Cooking". The New Yorker. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- "Bill Buford". Granta. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Garfield, Simon (30 December 2007). "How Granta conquered the world". The Observer. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Segura, Jonathan (6 March 2020). "Bill Buford Could Stand the Heat, So He's Back In the Kitchen". publishersweekly. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Carr, David; Kirkpatrick, David D. (21 October 2002). "The Gatekeeper For Literature Is Changing At New Yorker". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Finn, Robin (28 January 2003). "PUBLIC LIVES; A Bookworm as a Child, Now the Talk of the Town". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 April 2020.