Kitchen Confidential

Kitchen Confidential

Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Book - 2001
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After twenty-five years of 'sex, drugs, bad behaviour and haute cuisine', chef and novelist Anthony Bourdain has decided to tell all. From his first oyster in the Gironde to his lowly position as a dishwasher in a honky-tonk fish restaurant in Provincetown (where he first experiences the real delights of being a chef); through the kitchen of the Rainbow Room atop the Rockefeller Center to drug dealers in the East Village, to Tokyo to Paris and back to New York again, Bourdain's tales of the kitchen are as passionate as they are unpredictable, as shocking as they are funny. This unforgettable book will change the way you view restaurants for ever.
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2001
ISBN: 9780747553557
0747553556
9781582340821
158234082X
Branch Call Number: 641.5092 Bourd 3558
Characteristics: x, 307 p

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SCL_Justin Jul 27, 2018

When Anthony Bourdain died this year, I hadn't read anything by him, but my partner got me to watch some of his CNN show, Parts Unknown and I could see why people really liked his work.

Kitchen Confidential was the book that put Bourdain on the map (or on the Food Network) and it is a good look at a weird style of workplace. Though in the book he's writing with the brashness of someone who knows everything, I wonder how much of the experience of these styles of kitchens only apply in New York City. In a late chapter he does tell the reader that what he's describing (a macho sadistic culture Jordan Peterson would admire) is not the only way a kitchen can be, but he's described his kitchens so well already they're what stick with you as a reader.

In the end, I prefer late-career Bourdain's work but I can see why this would become so well-regarded.

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loveirises
Jun 28, 2018

I did not like this book. After it was announced that the author committed suicide in 2018 I decided to read it hoping to learn more about what goes on in the kitchen. I was a waitress in the fifties and sixties I never saw any kind of activity like he describes. It starts out very vulgar and doesn't get any better. I tried to read a sentence or two in a different chapters and didn't find anything of value in my opinion. I thought it was vulgar crass and disgusting.

s
steresem
Jun 20, 2018

Anthony Bourdain was an amazing storyteller. Kitchen Confidential is an insiders look at the inside story of the restaurant industry. He is frank about his past substance abuse and how it affected his relationship with cooking, and we see his rise to the top. His voice with be sorely missed.

K_ROK May 28, 2017

For any of us who used to or still do work in the culinary industry I can say that they will appreciate this book. A sous chef at a restaurant I was working at at the time recommended this book and I loved it. Most diners will have no idea about what really goes on between front and back of house staff, and what happens after the restaurant closes for the night. Great perspective, told in a raw fashion that agrees with the crudeness and cutthroat culture of this industry, this book is a great read.

o
ownedbydoxies
May 05, 2017

He's crude, he's crass, he's also very funny and completely without any sort of off-switch, apparently! I liked the book a lot, because his personality comes through loud and clear.

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bmobaggins
Nov 18, 2016

One of the best books about professional cooking, without question.

s
SarahDormat
Jul 16, 2016

If you can get past Bourdain's machismo and (what MUST be) exaggerated tales of him always coming out as the bad a** in every situation, it was an entertaining read. But, sometimes the machismo and the hyperbolic storytelling could become a little draining. I love his show, Parts Unknown. I wanted this book to be more like that. It's not. But, still fun.

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GlenAbbeyWarrior
Jan 10, 2016

I've enjoyed watching Anthony Bourdain on his CNN show Parts Unknown, so my wife (who is a chef by trade) told me that I'd probably like reading Kitchen Confidential - the book that put him on the culinary map. Written in 2000, Bourdain describes in great detail the seedy underbelly of what life in a kitchen is really like. Drugs, alcoholism, kickbacks - basically if you're the head chef, its like being the captain of a pirate ship. And through his tales, I learned quite a lot from a customer's perspective such as never going to a restaurant on a Monday or ordering a steak well-done. Although I assume much has changed in the 15+ years since Kitchen Confidential was written, I also suspect that a lot of it has remained the same. A really good page-turner for serious foodies and people like me who only have a very casual interest in the subject.

JCLKimG Aug 06, 2015

I listened to this, Anthony Bourdain narrates it himself. He has a dark, crass way of telling stories about his career and life as a chef that I find to be laugh out loud funny.

d
doylej
Nov 21, 2013

Enjoyable read, but one that I don't want to think too much about when I'm eating out. I like how much he talks about his wife, although I'm afraid to look and see if they're still married all these years later. (Don't tell me, unless it's good news.)

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