- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Ecco; Updated edition (9 January 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060899220
- ISBN-13: 978-0060899226
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #79,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Kitchen Confidential Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (Ecco) Paperback – 9 Jan 2007
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“Utterly riveting, swaggering with stylish machismo and precise ear for kitchen patois.” (New York magazine)
“You’ll laugh, you’ll cry...you’re gonna love it.” (Denver Post)
“The kind of book you read in one sitting, then rush about annoying your coworkers by declaiming whole passages.” (USA Today)
Bourdain captures the world of restaurants and professionally cooked food in all its theatrical, demented glory. (USA Today)
“A gonzo memoir of whats really going on behind those swinging doors.... Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain is unique.” (Newsweek)
“Bourdain’s prose is utterly riveting, swaggering with stylish machismo and a precise ear for kitchen patois.” (New York magazine)
“Hysterical.... Bourdain gleefully rips through the scenery to reveal private backstage horrors.” (New York Times Book Review)
From the Back Cover
A deliciously funny, delectably shocking banquet of wild-but-true tales of life in the culinary trade from Chef Anthony Bourdain, laying out his more than a quarter-century of drugs, sex, and haute cuisine—now with all-new, never-before-published materialSee all Product description
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Now, after having been a chef myself, having worked in multiple kitchens of all caliber in all four coasts of the United States, having worked with multitudes of kitchen associates and many other chefs, I know first hand of Bourdain's perspective and insight. I can tell you with certainty that it's all true. Yes, all true: every sordid, scandalous, wonderful, funny, creative, and amazing bit of it. This book is the culinary life. It's the life we chose, the life we love, and it's also the life that leaves us with literal and figurative scars that will never heal. We love the kitchen and although it loves us back, it also instilled in us some painful, loaded, duplicitous lessons. Lessons which I myself is still finding useful to this day.
After learning of Bourdain's shocking suicide three weeks ago on June 8th, I decided to get a new copy of 'Kitchen Confidential.' It had been some fifteen years since I last read it, and I wanted to remember him for the wonderful voice he gave to us certifiable crazy kitchen warriors and culinary ninjas. Us warriors who love food, and us ninjas who have accepted our punishing, culinary fates. I also decided to read it again because I had the pleasure of meeting Anthony Bourdain twice in my life - on the second occasion, I had the honor of cooking for him. Both times, he was as funny, charming, and brilliant as many know him to be from his culinary travel TV shows. Reading the book this second time around made me remember and reminisce how wonderful both of my encounters with him had been.
If you're a chef, or a culinary student, I have a feeling I don't need to convince you to buy and read this book. Bourdain's account of his time in the kitchen is our reality, and you know it first hand so you'll relate. If you're a "foodie" (I truly despise this word) or someone who genuinely admires the art of culinary, you'll get a kick out of this book, because you'll feel the sweat, blood, and tears we suffer to creatively feed you and the masses. If you're an ordinary person who simply eats to live, or perhaps you once caught an episode of one of Anthony Bourdain's four television shows over the years, but you don’t really see the reason for all the fuss, you need this book more than anyone else. Unless you're squeamish, a prude, snobbish, or a pretentious person, you'll love 'Kitchen Confidential.' If you are indeed within the third category of people I described, and you open your mind, I guarantee you that you'll fall in love with Anthony Bourdain like we all have and see what all the fuss is that we keep lamenting about.
Needless to say, I highly recommend this book. Read it once, read it twice, read it multiple times. You'll be wiser for it. Yes of course, some of the details such as the use of Fax machines to send resumes, the food ordering processes, hiring practices, food safety guidelines, and a couple other things are outdated and no longer relevant by today's Culinary Arts standards. Nevertheless, what remains, remains valid and rings true to this day. This memoir is a solid one. 5-Stars.
Everything he says about the business is spot-on and, once you read his book, which is written in the coarse language of a professional kitchen which adds color and authenticity, you will never look at a menu or see a restaurant the same way again.
I liked the muscular way he writes about food and I fully share his view that prissy concoctions of food with way too many ingredients that only stroke a chef's vanity have nothing to do with first class cooking. As he rightly points out, great cooking, as always, involves only the finest and freshest ingredients presented to their greatest advantage where less is more. As any artist will tell you, if you mix up all the colors of the pallet, the result will always be a muddy black.
The very best chapter, however, is about his going to Japan for the first time and seeing the famous Tokyo fish market which I remember seeing in the 1970's and feeling exactly the same way about. I also remember my first visit to Japan as the same hallucinatory experience which delighted every sense especially the quirky drinking habits of "salary men" or office workers after the day's work is done.
I suggest that you read the book and then visit his great restaurants...or the other way around. Both are a worthwhile experience.