Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $5.02 shipping
Kitchen Confidential Updated Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (P.S.) Paperback – January 9, 2007
|New from||Used from|
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Chef at New York's Les Halles and author of Bone in the Throat, Bourdain pulls no punches in this memoir of his years in the restaurant business. His fast-lane personality and glee in recounting sophomoric kitchen pranks might be unbearable were it not for two things: Bourdain is as unsparingly acerbic with himself as he is with others, and he exhibits a sincere and profound love of good food. The latter was born on a family trip to France when young Bourdain tasted his first oyster, and his love has only grown since. He has attended culinary school, fallen prey to a drug habit and even established a restaurant in Tokyo, discovering along the way that the crazy, dirty, sometimes frightening world of the restaurant kitchen sustains him. Bourdain is no presentable TV version of a chef; he talks tough and dirty. His advice to aspiring chefs: "Show up at work on time six months in a row and we'll talk about red curry paste and lemon grass. Until then, I have four words for you: 'Shut the fuck up.' " He disdains vegetarians, warns against ordering food well done and cautions that restaurant brunches are a crapshoot. Gossipy chapters discuss the many restaurants where Bourdain has worked, while a single chapter on how to cook like a professional at home exhorts readers to buy a few simple gadgets, such as a metal ring for tall food. Most of the book, however, deals with Bourdain's own maturation as a chef, and the culmination, a litany describing the many scars and oddities that he has developed on his hands, is surprisingly beautiful. He'd probably hate to hear it, but Bourdain has a tender side, and when it peeks through his rough exterior and the wall of four-letter words he constructs, it elevates this book to something more than blustery memoir. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The first few chapters described his childhood and early years of working in the food industry. I'll admit they were rather entertaining. Irritation and boredom kicked in soon after. Bourdain's biggest problem is his lack of writing talent. The poor grammar, lack of flow, lack of focus, and incredibly over use of cliches were rather endearing for the first 30 or 40 pages. Knowing that he is a chef by profession, not a writer, his lack of honed writing skill was different. Upon getting deepr in the text, however, it became boring, redundant, irritating, and just down right annoying. What bothered me most was the lack of focus. For several chapters he bounced around a lot when describing different periods of his life and the jobs he was working. It was incredibly confusing to keep track of his age, where he worked, what he did. What Bourdain really needs a good editor to help him get his thoughts together.
The actual content was lacking as well. I didn't find anything he wrote about scandalous, let alone make me never want to set foot in a restaurant again. The life he tried to describe mentions that he used drugs, but he didn't really give the reader any type of understanding as to how it affected him, or who he met, what he did, or any other crazy stories that makes him stand out from any other person in the 80s or 90s hooked on heroine or coke. Nothing he presented made me think of anything close to the life of a crazy rockstar. I'd imagine he did experience those things, he just doesn't actually tell you about them. There are very few comments referring to things that would make you think twice about eatting at a restaurant, and all of these are common sense when you actually think about them.
I'd have a hard time recommending that people should waste their time by reading this book. The only exception I can think of are people who are aspiring to be a professional chef. Bourdain does do a good job of how physically, mentally, personally, and emotionally draining it is to be a chef.
In summary, stay away from this book if you are looking for entertainment, tips on what to eat a restaurant, or any type of dirty fun. It's not here. But, if you are considering to be a chef in a major city make sure you pick this up to make sure this is what you want to do.
If I liked Anthony Bourdain would I have liked this book more?
Hard to say, but I think the answer to the first question might be "Maybe, but doubtful" and the answer to the second question is, "Probably not".
I thought the beginning of Kitchen Confidential was interesting but I don't need anyone advising me not to eat in restaurants with dirty bathrooms or to treat servers with respect. It was this blow-the-lid-off-the-restaurant-industry type of hype that brought me to Kitchen Confidential, but after the first couple of chapters of this type of not-so-eye-opening "insider" information, it was all downhill.
To be honest - and this biased my view of the book - I'm not a fan of the "Shock" celebrity in today's media. Shock jocks, shock politicians, shock pundits and now, at least with this book, shock chefs. If you have something to say, please say it, I'm interested. But if what you have to say relies on insulting various groups of people and using offensive language to make a point or color a story, or if your abrasive dialogue is too often used to hammer home the idea that you're better/smarter/cooler than the people you're talking to, you can save it for someone else. The reality might be that you *are* better/smarter/cooler than the people you're talking to, but let us come to that conclusion ourselves.
In the end, after wading through insults to vegetarians and people who like to order items on the side and pretty much anyone Mr. Bourdain has worked with (or for) in his restaurant career, as well as droning stories of drugs and sex, I found little of any substance in Kitchen Confidential. Beyond that, I found Kitchen Confidential to be little more than a boring and vulgar rant by a chef/author who maybe spends a little too much time in front of the mirror thinking all sorts of wonderful things about himself and whose stories and writing remind me of the reminiscences of 28-year-old at his ten-year high school reunion. Like the food I send back, this one is tasteless and undercooked.
He's not much of a writer either. His words are forced, his scenarios are false, and he relies on stereotypes to support his portrayal of being somebody he's not. I couldn't care less that he's stupid enough to put herion into his veins. He's just another loser who wants to justify his inability to excel by somehow "identifying" with the rest of the people who really do work hard to put out a decent meal.
Skip this nonsense. Look toward successful chefs for insight, whose words are few and far between. Bourdain is a fake. He's just cashing in on the FoodTV craze while at the same time condemning it. Fraud.
I will tell you the two tidbits of valuable information in the book so that you do not have to spend anything to get them. Never buy seafood while dining out on Monday. Tuesday and Thursday are good times to dine out. Now you do not need to punish your sensibilities reading his ramblings and suffer through his crude language.
Most recent customer reviews
Great tips for purchasing utensils and kitchen needs.