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Anthony Bourdain Omnibus: "Kitchen Confidential", "A Cook's Tour" Paperback – August 16, 2004

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Kitchen Confidential: 'Fantastic: as lip-smackingly seductive as a bowl of fat chips and pungent aioli' Daily Telegraph 'Extraordinary ... written with a clarity and a clear-eyed wit to put the professional food-writing fraternity to shame' Observer A Cook's Tour: 'Colonel Kurtz Bourdain goes deep into the heart of darkness and returns sole survivor of the culinary bloodbath' Guardian 'Brilliantly written in a raw, stylish gonzo prose, with pitch-black humour and a devilish turn of phrase' Evening Standard

About the Author

Anthony Bourdain is the executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in New York City. He is also the author of the novels Gone Bamboo, Bone in the Throat and The Bobby Gold Stories. His latest book is Les Halles Cookbook.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (August 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747574987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747574989
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #589,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert I. Hedges HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
The "Anthony Bourdain Omnibus" is a compendium of two earlier books, "Kitchen Confidential," and "A Cook's Tour" by noted chef Tony Bourdain. This book is a good value, and if you have read neither of these books I recommend it highly, otherwise it behooves you to buy whatever volume you are missing.

I like Bourdain, who is at once sarcastic, dry, and worldly, and yet can be surprisingly sensitive (if you have a hard time believing this last part, read the chapter in "A Cook's Tour" on Vietnam, and particularly his interaction with the napalm victim.) He is clearly very bright, but also earthy and amazingly funny. Both of these volumes are great to read, and I recommend them highly. Of the two, "Kitchen Confidential" is my favorite mostly because I used to cook in an upscale restaurant and totally grasp everything he is saying (he speaks the truth, believe me,) whereas "A Cook's Tour" was written in conjunction with a cable television show of the same name and deals with traveling and exotic delicacies encountered far from his home in New York. While I am mildly adventurous with cuisine, I readily confess that there are a few things that Bourdain consumes that I could never overcome my aversion to: that is part of why I like these books so much; Tony will try anything once and can make the reader viscerally understand what the experience is like without actually needing to eat it themselves.

Of all authors that currently write on food or travel, Tony Bourdain is my unquestioned favorite. I highly recommend this omnibus edition to meet your literary and gustatory needs.
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This book has madcap humor, tons of fun facts about food, both appetizing and NOT,
a wealth of action and surprising revelations, a breezily ironic writing style, and
the somehow charming bluntness of The Man himself.

What's not to like?

This long volume whisks you along like a Tokyo Bullet-train of strange characters, heroes and villains,
intense confrontations, bitter truths and sweet lies BOTH, fully-revealed, in copious quantity.
It reads FAST.

What really goes on behind the closed doors of trendy, top-end restaurant kitchens
is only a slice of the book's appeal.

Seeing the writer's painful, but inevitable growth is heartening, and his freely-admitted flaws and excesses are
never lost-in-the-sauce of this twisting, wild-mouse journey of a book.

It's like a jumpy roller-coaster roaring thru the cavernous, Hieronymous Bosch-like kitchen of a man's life.

Anthony Bourdain's life.
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Anthony Bourdain's books and TV programs have forever changed my life for the better, often with the gentle subtlety of a tire iron applied to the brain stem. His prose can rip down walls built over a lifetime of prejudices regarding how we relate to food, which forms are acceptable and which or not, and how cultures other than our own little reality tunnels have related to it for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years. He taught me that often things that look so wrong due to our programming in reality are wonderful, delicate and enlightening. Kitchen Confidential will open your eyes to what really goes on in the places you eat, from the cheapest to the most opulent; A Cook's Tour reveals that the street food you can buy for almost nothing in a third world country is often every bit as good and enlightening as meals costing hundreds of dollars at places considered to be the best on the planet. He relates a very touching description of his first raw oyster as a child, eaten straight from the water; I had a similar experience much later in life when I worked up the nerve to eat my first whole shrimp with shell and head intact. Expecting the worst, the head was like a wonderful dessert, the outside crumbling like a filo pastry and the filling a sweet, salty liquid like a warm, comforting custard. His skill as a writer is quite extraordinary.
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reminded me of my short time at Market restaurant nyc i bull s***ed my way in ( multiplied receips from a cook book by twenty ) then had to deal with culinary institute trainees zests of lemons cleanning brusel sprouts and caring for sabetier knives none of which i knew anything about. It w as on bottom of world trade center i was supposed to be the vegtable chef i lasted 2 weeks
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I first became a fan of Mr. Bourdain through watching No Reservations and often wondered upon his background. These two books (in one great omnibus) is a thoroughly engaging read and an excellent narrative.
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This guy is a lunatic and what fun is he to read. Even though the books huge you go through it quickly because of how entertaining his writing style is.
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I know a very successful, wealthy attorney who says this was the book that altered his life the most. Classic and better than his restaurants at times.
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