- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 8 hours
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: February 6, 2001
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00005AAQ7
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly Audible – Unabridged
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Producer: John McElroy
Original Cover Photo: © Courtney Grant Winston for Food Arts
Original Cover Design: Notice 51
©2000 Anthony Bourdain
(P)2000 Random House, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is clear that Bourdain enjoys a true passion for both food and cooking, a passion he inherited from the French side of his family. He tells us he decided to become a chef during a trip to southwestern France when he was only ten years of age and it is a decision he stuck to, graduating from the Culinary Institute of America.
Kitchen Confidential is a surprisingly well-written account of what life is really like in the commercial kitchens of the United States; "the dark recesses of the restaurant underbelly." In describing these dark recesses, Bourdain refreshingly casts as many stones at himself as he does at others. In fact, he is brutally honest. There is nothing as tiresome as a "tell-all" book in which the author relentlessly paints himself as the unwitting victim. Bourdain, to his enormous credit, avoids this trap. Maybe he writes so convincingly about drugs and alcohol because drugs and alcohol have run their course through his veins as well as those of others.
The rather raunchy "pirate ship" stories contained in this fascinating but testosterone-rich book help to bring it vividly to life and add tremendous credibility. The book does tend to discourage any would-be female chefs who might read it, but that's not Bourdain's fault; he is simply telling it like it is and telling it hilariously as well.Read more ›
There is much to like in this book. Occasional insights into why ordering fish on Monday is not such a good idea (it's left over from Thursday's delivery) and the logistics of running a major restaurant are fascinating. Also, the anecdotes about management style and successful vs. unsuccessful restaurants make for interesting reading. Bourdain demolishes the mystique of cooking as an art to be mastered by only a few. From his perspective, cooking is a craft that can be learned through grit, endurance, and hard knocks. As he points out, the mainstays of his and many other kitchens are immigrants from Ecuador, Mexico, Bengal and elsewhere who are taught how to recreate consistently and under pressure dishes as directed by the chef. Restaurant work is not easy, and only the strong survive. It's a war out there--and the kitchen is the combat zone.
That said, "Kitchen Confidential" is an uneven book that should have had a good editing. The individual chapters have the feel of freestanding pieces, and some of their content is repetitious. Much of the jargon and some of the details of how a kitchen is organized aren't explained until late in the book, even though he's been referring to them from the beginning.. By the time he finally does explain the slang and the esoteric details, the astute reader has already figured it out.Read more ›
Bourdain has put together a truly gonzo collection of restaurant tales that aren't all depraved...but, like his restaurateur/chef subjects, most of them are! Kudos to him for a book that is this honest while being this hysterical. If you have the, um, stomach for it, this is a book you'll remember fondly. Well worth digesting!
Whatever faults the author and the book may have, this is a knee-slappingly funny account of what really goes on in kitchens, and anybody who wants to be a chef should be forced to read this book before attending cooking school. Those of you benighted souls who have no interest in fine cuisine and four-star restaurants probably won't understand the truth and humor that underly Chef Bourdain's cutting prose.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a line cook, I feel as if I could learn a lot from Anthony. As a human, his style of writing paints a very relatable image. Read morePublished 4 hours ago by modestmau5
Funny, irreverent, insightful. I had no real idea what went on in the inner sanctum of little- and bigtime-kitchens. Read morePublished 2 days ago by A reader from the bayous...
Great book. 😁 I had to buy another because I lent mine out and never saw it again. 😒Published 4 days ago by lisa m.
Good condition and my husband, my personal chef--his hobby, loved it and did a cook here at a local restaurant.Published 7 days ago by Deborah
I'm afraid if I ever met Anthony Bourdain, he would be too "fast" for me, but I found the book an incredible "ride"!!! AND I learned so much about cooking.Published 7 days ago by CatDancing
Just like my subject states..I'm not a chefs or Ben a foodie but I love Anthony boundaries adventures ...listening to him on his tv shows makes me want to at and travel. Read morePublished 9 days ago by ami j