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on December 10, 2016
GREAT book! I couldn't put it down. Having been in food service most of my life, I'm only 26yrs old and feel like I've already been exposed to it all. After reading this...not even close. Anthony never goes far beyond the truth of spending his time in a kitchen. Explaining each and every detail about his experiences from culinary school all the way to executive chef running his own restaurant. There's definitely some evil out there, but also many rewards. He tells it how it is. There's plenty of spoilers in this book including talk about what kinds of knives to use, kitchen equipment and about how to improve upon your own skills as a chef, restaurant employee or even an owner. However, this is really a story--not business for dummies. He's done a great job here.
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on January 19, 2018
I found the book really interesting and fun to read. However, by the last few chapters, it starts to get *really* repetitive. Chefs are crazy, cooks are crazy, owners are stupid. Drugs, swearing, being overworked etc. It starts to come off as Bourdain just bragging about how rough and tumble the restaurant business is and how nobody else knows the meaning of hard work. The chapters also jump all over the place and don't progress in any logical manner. This doesn't really detract from the reading experience but does mean I had to pause now and then and try to place if the events I was reading about happened before or after events that were described in previous chapters.
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on September 21, 2017
Had I read this when it was first released I likely would have given it five stars. But now is now and nine years after publication those of us who care know so much more about the back-of-the-house restaurant reality, both in terms of process and personalities, that Kitchen Confidential doesn't pack quite the wallop it once did. That said, this is pure Bourdain being Bourdain: fun, outrageous, edgy, daring and honest. Good stuff. Anyone who is interested in the food service business but hasn't yet read this classic should pick it up. It's a quick and easy read, but one with a lot of meat on the bones. I found Bourdain's heartfelt admission that he is not and never will be (and the why behind it) a great chef to be soul-baring of the first order. Would that we could all confront our own failures and inadequacies with the openness and honesty that Bourdain does. That, more than anything else in this book, took balls. And for that alone the author deserves our respect.
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on May 28, 2016
Some years ago I had an interest in a restaurant along with two other partners. I also had a French family background with a deep appreciation of fine cuisine. I also have dined at Les Halles, his famous restaurant in New York. My partnership was to be "silent", that is, just kick in your share of the money and go away. In the first week of operation I was tapped to do dishes because the washer didn't show, wait tables for a similar reason etc. etc. For weeks we struggled to bring order and routine to the restaurant. So, the trap was well set. Fortunately, I was eventually able to sell back my share and jump clear of the unfolding disaster, but I wish I had read Anthony Bourdain's book first. All the best kept secrets of the restaurant business are revealed in this terrific book.

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.
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on February 3, 2017
I love watching any and all things Anthony Bourdain and finally gave his first book a read to learn more about the origins of the man. It may be because I have watched so many of his shows, but I can picture him telling the story as if he's in the room with me as I read. He has an amusing and blunt writing voice that makes you laugh out loud at his crazy young antics and previous restaurant shenanigans.The layout of the book is very unique and intriguing as well, as he bounces around from childhood, to the necessities for any kitchen, to a day in the life at Les Halles. No stone is left un-turned in the "real" restaurant world by the time you finish reading. It was a book I couldn't stand to put down and yet couldn't bare to finish since I wanted more.
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on January 11, 2018
There were chapters I liked more than others - childhood in France, what to have in your kitchen, what to eat and avoid in restaurants, Steven, and Tokyo.

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.
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on December 1, 2015
Wickedly funny. Anthony is a great chef that doesn't give a F! His insightful view of the real life in a kitchen is hilarious.
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
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on December 29, 2017
An easy to read book written by professional chef. He is not a professional writer though. It like a biography, but includes a lot about cooking and the environment in good restaurants. I like it. There were some parts that I did not understand easily, long sentences, unusual words, but overall OK. Anthony is a great guy, great chef, great on TV. Thanks God he shares his experience. It worth reading it.
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on February 10, 2018
I very much like this book. It is fifteen years old now but still holds up well. Bourdain is better in print than on the TV because he has more room to stretch out his thoughts both philosophically and critically. He's a very fine memoirist. Cooking, apparently, was just his day job for many years while he honed his writing skill. I find the book authentic and stimulating. My job entails a lot of reading and writing, so I don't get to do as much pleasure reading as I like to, but even so, I cannot put this book down.
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on July 5, 2014
No one else had the guts to do it. Bourdain does. Hey, you can say he's just a bitter man (and he is) but that doesn't mean that what he says is not true! An enormously entertaining book, and in typical Bourdain fashion, there are those on the sainthood list and those who, shall we say, are swimming in a lake of fire, but not a lake that cooks well. What I love most about Bourdain is his passion, even if it is demented. I like demented. I trust the humor more. He constantly defends the down trodden (who is everyone like himself) and sticks a fatal spear into the pretentiousness of Michelin wanna-be-ism. After all, Michelin is a tire company right? Bathe yourself in the deliciously frank and X-rated attitude of a guy who knows better; not because he always knew better, but because he climbed up the ladder of culinary experience and success and blew it up his nose along the way. As always, Bourdain pays homage to the immigrant, hard working slave of the kitchen, and puts a finger up the escape hole of the industry, that is pretentious ridiculousness. I'll never be a cook or a chef or any of that, but I do play one at home. A huge inspiration to those in the industry and those of us wanna-bees at home. I can almost hear the joyful snorts and chuckles coming from the kitchen of my favorite restaurant. The definitive book on what it is and what it means to be a person whose passion it is to cook and feed you. You will come to believe also, that you might just be the last thing on a chef's mind, when it comes to preparing your food. Hilarious and truthful humor that might change the way you think about that secret room behind the restaurant facade. Could be the funniest book this year, if I hadn't read "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair first. You will enjoy this book immensely.
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