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The contest is closed, but you can still read the essays. The winner will be published in the paperback edition of Anthony Bourdain’s Medium Raw.

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    #1 of 1949

    Cooking well through the eyes of a Whitexican

    by Jen P.

    I’ve learned that cooking well has nothing to do with purchasing organic food or using ingredients from specialty markets; but rather it’s a family that works together, laughs together, and eats together in utter enjoyment.

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    #2 of 1949

    Laura T.

    On the Origin of Cooking

    by Laura T.

    Because the ding of a microwave oven knells a wasted caveman death.

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    #3 of 1949

    We Cook Because We Love

    by Steve R.

    We cook well because we understand that life is good and worth savoring. We cook as an expression of passion and to celebrate our lives and each other.

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    #4 of 1949

    A Culinary tribute- Getting to know your food

    by Jennifer A.

    Love life, Love Food? Get to know your food inside and out, and then you will unlock all of the hidden kitchen secrets!

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    #5 of 1949

    Macdaddymarc H.

    Who Cares

    by Macdaddymarc H.

     The oneness of being that is often only associated with eastern religions and clean LSD experiences shows it's presence every time you step up to the stove. This is why we must cook well.

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    #6 of 1949

    Consider the Oysters

    by Adam L.

    Food is memory.  And like the oysters, good food is good memory.

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    #7 of 1949

    Inspiring Fanaticism

    by Anna P.

    When someone cooks well, the food inspires. You’ll get a reservation several lunar cycles in advance, use your entire tax refund to pay for the tasting menu. You’ll wait in line at Momofuku Milk Bar.

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    #8 of 1949

    My Italian Grandmother!

    by Trisha H.

    My Grandmother approaches the kitchen as a sort of metaphor for life. It draws me to conclude that the question of "How To Cook Well" could be interchangeable with "How To Live Well" 

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    #9 of 1949

    I cook well because I can't afford Le Bernardin

    by Michael H.

    Excellent cooking takes the sting from the great restaurants I would love to try.

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    #10 of 1949

    For Richer or Poorer

    by Jason U.

    We should cook food to live better.  Just relax and do it right.  Your life will be richer.