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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly Paperback – May 8, 2001
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Most diners believe that their sublime sliver of seared foie gras, topped with an ethereal buckwheat blini and a drizzle of piquant huckleberry sauce, was created by a culinary artist of the highest order, a sensitive, highly refined executive chef. The truth is more brutal. More likely, writes Anthony Bourdain in Kitchen Confidential, that elegant three-star concoction is the collaborative effort of a team of "wacked-out moral degenerates, dope fiends, refugees, a thuggish assortment of drunks, sneak thieves, sluts, and psychopaths," in all likelihood pierced or tattooed and incapable of uttering a sentence without an expletive or a foreign phrase. Such is the muscular view of the culinary trenches from one who's been groveling in them, with obvious sadomasochistic pleasure, for more than 20 years. CIA-trained Bourdain, currently the executive chef of the celebrated Les Halles, wrote two culinary mysteries before his first (and infamous) New Yorker essay launched this frank confessional about the lusty and larcenous real lives of cooks and restaurateurs. He is obscenely eloquent, unapologetically opinionated, and a damn fine storyteller--a Jack Kerouac of the kitchen. Those without the stomach for this kind of joyride should note his opening caveat: "There will be horror stories. Heavy drinking, drugs, screwing in the dry-goods area, unappetizing industry-wide practices. Talking about why you probably shouldn't order fish on a Monday, why those who favor well-done get the scrapings from the bottom of the barrel, and why seafood frittata is not a wise brunch selection.... But I'm simply not going to deceive anybody about the life as I've seen it." --Sumi Hahn
"...the kind of book you read in one sitting, then rush about annoying your coworkers by declaiming whole passages." -- USA Today
"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
A gonzo memoir of whats really going on behind those swinging doors.... Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain is unique. -- Newsweek
Hysterical.... Bourdain gleefully rips through the scenery to reveal private backstage horrors. -- New York Times Book Review
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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.
sure enough. while i loved it. i also realized that cooks and chefs don't really care about your food like they do in the movies or television shows. they want to make money and they don't want to waste a single bit of it. they do not want anything to go bad, therefore unsold.
it freaks me out when people say. would you like to hear the house specials? NO THANK YOU! LOL!
he gives all of the little tricks of the trade that you need to know when you go OUT TO EAT. NO JOKE!!!
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There were lots of terms I did not know which had no definition in the Kindle dictionary. And then there were the names of different foods and dishes that were completely foreign.
If you have an aversion to vulgarity,cursing,and swearing, you will not like much of the book.
If you're a chef or work in a kitchen or have ever wondered what it's like to be I'm a kitchen this is the book for you. From his ups and downs and drug use to stardom this is a great read. Now a world known celebrity Anthony still tries to be less of a star but more of a chef or describe food from a chef point of view not what people want to hear