Kitchen Confidential


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'I've been a chef in New York for more than ten years, and, for the decade before that, a dishwasher, a prep drone, a line cook, and a sous-chef. I came into the business when cooks still smoked on the line and wore headbands ' After twenty-five years of 'sex, drugs, bad behaviour and haute cuisine', chef and novelist Anthony Bourdain has decided to tell all. From his first oyster in the Gironde to his lowly position as a dishwasher in a honky tonk fish restaurant in Provincetown (where he first experiences the real ...

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Jan 12, 2010

Culinary Train Wreck

I'm not going to bother going over the details of this book. Lots of others have done that very well here. I will say, in case you missed this along the way, that this book is 'adult' only material. If you don't want to read crude words and activities, hear about minorities and women being harassed, etc. Skip this. Trust me it won't ruin your life not to read it. Also, if reading about some filthy kitchens and mishandling of food will put you off ever eating out again, skip this book. Personally I can't tolerate crudity very much. I did read all of this book however, for several reasons. And I sometimes laughed out loud while doing it.
First of all -- This guy loves food. This love oozes off the pages. I kept reading.
Next -- Anthony Bourdain is obviously an adrenalin junkie. Reading Kitchen Confidential is like watching a train wreck that never quite happens. You keep waiting for the author to either get back on the rails or fly off completely. I felt a bit voyeuristic at times, so mesmerized was I to see what awful thing would happen next.
Finally -- Bourdain is honest about himself and his life. He admits his mistakes, his self centeredness, and the many opportunities he wasted. He also doesn't pretend that in the end those mistakes didn't matter. He's honest, occasionally uncomfortably so. Perhaps what endeared the book to me was his admission near the end that he is not a 3 star chef, he couldn't be one if he wanted to, and he's OK with that. After the endless parade of over-inflated egos one sees on TV, this was refreshing. Thanks for being honest, chef.


Aug 11, 2008

Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

From Bourdain's first oyster in the Gironde, to his lowly position as dishwasher in a honky tonk fish restaurant in Provincetown (where he witnesses for the first time the real delights of being a chef); from the kitchen of the Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center, to drug dealers in the east village, from Tokyo to Paris and back to New York again, Bourdain's tales of the kitchen are as passionate as they are unpredictable.

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