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Kitchen Confidential Updated Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (P.S.) Paperback – January 9, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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!
I was surprised at the incredible coarseness of the book, but I thought, OK, that's real life in the restaurant world, if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen so to speak. But then towards the end he shows you that actually that's NOT how it is all through the restaurant world. Forget the last couple hundred pages.
So maybe he's just a jerk. Do I feel good about giving my money away to some jerk? But then again, he'll gladly TELL you he's a jerk. That's almost his point. Isn't the view of a crude, wild, hedonistic lifestyle that most of us would never live but still find fascinating why we buy these memoirs in the first place?
I found myself saying, "Wow, what an SOB (turn page) I can't stand this jerk (turn page)..." And that's not necessarily a bad thing, although it did leave me wondering whether I could really say I "liked" the book. What bothered me more was the poor structure of the book and the almost total lack of editing. Really weird things, like commas constantly popped up at random in the middle of, sentences. Like that. It grew more than a little annoying. And it was almost the last chapter before he actually defined all the cooking terms and the slang he had been using for hundreds of pages. People showed up whose significance he didn't explain until a number of chapters later.
So he's annoying, in many ways the book is annoying, but it's a fun and wild ride that will definitely give you something to talk about with your friends.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great look into the life of a chef in New York. Also cool seeing Anthony in a different light.Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
Must read if you work in restaurants. If you don't, it'll hit you with some knowledgePublished 6 days ago by Emmet Kelty
I loved the story,but something was wrong with the 6th disc. It got stuck in the player. The other discs were fine. I need to exchange it for a new one. How do I do that?Published 7 days ago by sandra martin
I learned more about restaurants and culinaria (is that a word?) reading Bourdain than any other essay, article or book I've read to date. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Rocky
I have been a big fan of Bourdain's television shows for years. Kitchen Confidential is a good merging of life in a professional kitchen and BourdainPublished 9 days ago by William H
Awesome read, and everything you wanted to know about what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurant.Published 9 days ago by ODIE
I felt like Goody Two Shoes sneaking a peek at the bad boys hangout. This was to be expected from Anthony Bourdain. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Nancy L. Otto
You can hear the voice of anthony as he describes the twisted life as a chef. It's a fun account of his life and what it's like behind the scenes.Published 12 days ago by Meagan