Kitchen Confidential

Kitchen Confidential

Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Book - 2000
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The New York Times bestselling memoir from Anthony Bourdain, the host of Parts Unknown.

Kitchen Confidential reveals what Bourdain calls "twenty-five years of sex, drugs, bad behavior and haute cuisine."

Last summer, The New Yorker published Chef Bourdain's shocking, "Don't Eat Before Reading This." Bourdain spared no one's appetite when he told all about what happens behind the kitchen door. Bourdain uses the same "take-no-prisoners" attitude in his deliciously funny and shockingly delectable book, sure to delight gourmands and philistines alike. 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.

Kitchen Confidential will make your mouth water while your belly aches with laughter. You'll beg the chef for more, please.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2000.
ISBN: 9781582340821
158234082X
Branch Call Number: 641.5092 Bou
Characteristics: 307 p. ; 24 cm.

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l
lukasevansherman
Nov 09, 2019

"Fear and Loathing in Restaurants." RIP man.

g
GurpleRain
Nov 07, 2019

As a Bourdain fan by way of his TV work, this book was a very interesting introduction to his pre-TV persona. Whereas he comes off as culturally in-tune and sensitive on TV, while still masculine and a little gruff, the voice in this book is crass, unforgiving, and that bit of pompous that is part-and-parcel with the world Bourdain describes. (The jokes are always at others' expense in the world of cooking. Self-deprecation won't get you far, as your fellow cooks got you covered in that.)

The material here is very in-depth (no way did I pick up on every cultural / culinary reference he made) and a Hunter S. Thompson in-the-kitchen gonzo sort of entertaining. The man lived a life. And he knows (and knows how to paint with his words) some wild characters.

This book was a very fun ride.

d
deborahmyers1
Oct 18, 2019

okay...sometimes entertaining, but he complained a lot.

JCLMattC Aug 28, 2019

Yes this is crass and a little on the vulgar side - I personally didn't find it that offensive - but it's also passionate! I was swept away by the dedication that these rough-and-tumble characters have to their craft, the language of their world and the beauty that comes from it.

a
akraconteur
Apr 10, 2019

I do not work in the restaurant business, but this book from a civilian viewpoint was amazing and insightful into the world of professional culinary arts and business.

l
lmlee7
Mar 08, 2019

Read this when it first came out and I was working for an executive chef. Wildly entertaining. Fun, fast read and pretty much on point. Highly recommend.

m
mammothhawk229e
Jan 15, 2019

I nodded at all the politically incorrect shenanigans in cooking school & restaurants I used to work.
Author nailed it.

n
NaMe24
Jan 11, 2019

I only knew of Anthony Bourdain through his show "Parts Unknown" which I could easily recommend to anyone who has any interest in food, culture or just good documentary television. However, there is no way to distinguish between his spoken and written voice in this book (which I consider a major positive). For having a past filled with debauchery, the intellect, humor and overall passion of Bourdain bleeds through the pages of this memoir/exposé about the culinary world in the late 20th century and what it's become today. If you don't like reading check out his show. If you like his show read this book.

n
nelson1949
Aug 31, 2018

An excellent book about the steamy jungle of the kitchen in many restaurants. This book is not for the faint of heart. It is sometimes crude, coarse, but honest. I can hear Anthony Bourdain's voice coming through loud and clear in his writing. I will miss his creative genius from his CNN show. A must read!

SCL_Justin Jul 27, 2018

When Anthony Bourdain died this year, I hadn't read anything by him, but my partner got me to watch some of his CNN show, Parts Unknown and I could see why people really liked his work.

Kitchen Confidential was the book that put Bourdain on the map (or on the Food Network) and it is a good look at a weird style of workplace. Though in the book he's writing with the brashness of someone who knows everything, I wonder how much of the experience of these styles of kitchens only apply in New York City. In a late chapter he does tell the reader that what he's describing (a macho sadistic culture Jordan Peterson would admire) is not the only way a kitchen can be, but he's described his kitchens so well already they're what stick with you as a reader.

In the end, I prefer late-career Bourdain's work but I can see why this would become so well-regarded.

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