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91 Reviews
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book - but the Kindle version leaves a lot to be desired
First off, let me just say that this is a fantastic book. I had a lot of fun reading it, which is why I'm giving the book itself 4 stars.

However, I feel that I should warn people about the Kindle version. They seem to have used OCR or something, as there are LOTS of typos and mistakes. "I" (referring to Bourdain) often becomes "J", words are pushed together...
Published on 20 Oct 2010 by Mr. Bradley T. Abrahams

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear I think not!
Was so looking forward to this as interested in all things cookery related but it was an effort to be frank. Didn't match the reviews for me.
Published 24 days ago by Kirkie


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book - but the Kindle version leaves a lot to be desired, 20 Oct 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Hardcover)
First off, let me just say that this is a fantastic book. I had a lot of fun reading it, which is why I'm giving the book itself 4 stars.

However, I feel that I should warn people about the Kindle version. They seem to have used OCR or something, as there are LOTS of typos and mistakes. "I" (referring to Bourdain) often becomes "J", words are pushed together ("I did notthink that..."), and punctuation is often missed out entirely. It's very frustrating and often makes sentences hard to understand. I found myself having to re-read sections in order to make sense of them.

If you can look past these faults then go for it, but be warned. I hope that all Kindle books haven't been reproduced as poorly as this (this is my first Kindle purchase).
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well-written, hilarious, surprisingly interesting., 12 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Paperback)
This man can't just cook, he can write. That was my first surprise. The second surprise was realizing how interesting the world of cooking and behind-swinging-doors kitchen life seemed to me after reading this book. He makes what would seem, to me anyway, a mundane and even boring sub-world come very much alive for the reader. Mr. Bourdain obviously loves what he does, and he communicates that love with great joy and, quite often, with the bawdy relish of a teenager telling a dirty joke to his friends.
I couldn't put it down. I laughed out loud. I learned a ton of new information about food, cooking, and the restaurant business. I recommended it to a friend and he loved it. It made me want to meet the author and hang out in his kitchen. What more can you ask for from a book about being a chef?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rock'n'Roll Cook's Tale, 15 Oct 2003
By 
Andrew Kerr "Alabony" (Dunfermline, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Paperback)
Anthony Bourdain is a very good writer. His style is that easy flow that seems like he's just talking to you - and it suits this book perfectly.
From his drug-hazed beginnings in chefdom to his (later) lucid appreciation of all things culinary, you do get a real sense of the chaos and artistry that takes place in most kitchens.
He changes tack about 3/4 of the way through and goes from being a hard-nosed old-hander, telling you like it is, to a more self-effacing well-rounded chef, explaining that his way is not always the best way.
It's a culinary roller-coaster ride, full of sharp little stories, and handy advice for people eating out in restaurants (what to avoid, specifically!) - as well as an open and honest assessment of his own career.
An easy read - quite rewarding, not particularly gripping, but worthwhile all the same.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No sign of Mr Oliver then ?, 26 Jun 2001
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Paperback)
Ok..so I'm not the first chef to write a review of this brilliant book but I doubt I will be the last, having spent almost as many years working in kitchens as the author this book made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It's all true ..every word of it, kitchens are foul places to work and the author has show every reader a window into this hellish world. I recognised the types who inhabit this world and could almost feel the heat from the ranges. I laughed out loud especialy at the ' body ' in the freezer. If real life is your thing then spend some cash and buy this book, if Jane Austen is your thing ....I DARE YOU..
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confessions From A Dark Kitchen, 21 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Hardcover)
Anthony Bourdain, Executive Chef at Les Halles, New York, has written far more than yet another memoir. Within these pages you will find humour, tragedy, pathos, engaging wit and attention gripping story telling ability. Oh yes, and horror! Never before has the lid been fully lifted from the bubbling cauldron of a professional kitchen to reveal to a hitherto unsuspecting public the full contents therein. Drugs, sex, rock'n'roll and much worse in the sort of excesses which put Fellini and Ken Russell to shame! Gasp at the incredulous characters who appear, sometimes occasionally, in Mr Bourdain's kitchens. Be afraid - be very afraid - as Mr Bourdain tells us all those little tricks of the trade which go on behind closed - or swinging - doors. Having attended catering college and started a career as Sous Chef many years ago I admit that some of these tricks are fairly common knowledge. But there are still tales here which grabbed my attention and made me vow never to go near certain restaurants again! Being based in America gives this book a certain distance - the sort of 'it couldn't happen over here' attitude which predated the arrival of McDonalds - and eccentricity which may deter many from buying it. Their loss. They will be missing out on one of this year's surprise successes, one of the most entertaining food books on the market and the sort of brutal reality that seems to have been lost in this country. Quite possibly, though, it is not lost but just hidden under a glutinous sauce of celebrity chef and Deliaism!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it and EAT!, 1 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Hardcover)
Anthony Bourdain tells the truth about realities in the restaurant world no one is supposed to know about;drugs, sex, rock and roll, attitude to spare, freaks & geeks, in essence - the underbelly of the beast where you eat. Take his advice about what days of the week to eat seafood or fish, and what NEVER to eat from a specials board. An engaging, down and dirty read that is funny and satisfying. A must read if you've ever worked in a kitchen, and well worth it if you haven't.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real chef's rant.., 4 Feb 2003
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Paperback)
I was given this book and instructed to read it. I was mildly interested in it as I do love food. What I wasn't prepared for was how much this book would cause me to love food (and be fascinated by it) even more. I loved everything about his book. Of course this doesn't mean that it's the greatest book ever written. What it does mean is that it was exactly what I like in a book.
I laughed out loud many many times. I was shocked in places, especially at Tony's stabbing of a fellow (though arguably deserving) cook's hand!
His love of food was great to read, as was his acid writing style. As a previous reviewer said, it makes me want to meet Tony.
I will be reading A Cook's Tour as soon as get my hands on it. Just read it.
Inspiring.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pallet Pleasingly Perfect, 24 Nov 2001
By 
tiptobes@hotmail.com (Channel Islands Jersey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Paperback)
Kitchen Confidential is a delightful read. The balance provided by Bourdain between gritty realism and anecdotal humour is fantastically enjoyable and fresh perspective of the culinary underbelly.
Bourdain takes you on an extraordinary journey through his life, and, through world that is located behind the double doors of restaurants. Though be warned some of the information given may cause you to shun the catering business for all eternity. Not only is the subject matter unbeknown to many folk, thus making it fascinating, but also the way in which Bourdain transmits his thoughts and experiences to the reader is utterly gleeful. His style makes the pages flow giving the read a very personal and stylised experience.
Recommended to me by relatives this book turned out to be a blinder. Sleep was lost; meals were left cold and work undone. The pages contained within the card cover are so easily readable, you will lose track of time.
The world of "Chefs", "Waiters", "Line Cooks" and "Runners" is not glamorised nor is it berated. It is simply presented for what it is. Myself having no prior knowledge as to the true nature of the backrooms in restaurants was surprised, amused and shocked at what goes on out of the publics view. Some of Bourdain's stories are truly horrific but at the same time strangely comforting. It is nice to know that the inhuman hours taken on by chefs are actually real people.
Aside from the realistic, humorous and eye-opening truths revealed in Kitchen Confidential, there are also some bits of highly useful information. Such as, one should not eat fish on a Tuesday, because the delivery was made six days ago, and has been left in a "stinking reach in." Also no customer should have the special on the Saturday, as it will contain the leftover scraps, which have been left to accumulate colonies of bacteria.
I can only urge you to buy this book, if you are looking for a brilliantly enjoyable light read then this is the book to buy.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rich pickings from a full table, 13 May 2003
By 
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Paperback)
As fast and furious as a prep-cook working his way through a pound carrots needing dicing and only a butchers knife at hand and a minute to go. Bourdain lets it all hang out and confirms that cooks are one special breed indeed - when solemnly exercising their creative talents let alone when they're inebriated and/or intoxicated. Both happens a lot in the book but it all helps convey the gristy salty experience it must be to stand with a kitchen akin a bedlam and roomful of people waiting for the soufflé that just collapsed.
It also makes one wonder why we enjoy eating out - even the most unimaginative person can guess what shenanigans go on in the kitchen (and if not, read this book and you won't need any imaginative powers at all). They get up to all sorts and yet, we continually put our palates, stomachs and ultimately lives in the hands of cooks, chefs and kitchen porters.
- Why? Well, Anthony Bourdain has quite clearly survived 25 years in the trade with both tastebuds and narrative powers intact so why shouldn't we - when there is so much to gain. OK, so he does have some sensible advice, which he says he follows himself, including the no-seafood-on-Mondays rule.
Read the book and I think you'll find it as wholesome and satisfactory as four course meal with the one lingering thought it might just have been that one notch closer to perfection had there just been three.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kitchen Blender Overdrive, 15 Nov 2003
By 
A. B. Morris "Mor Sound" (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Paperback)
Once I picked this up I could not put it down. It flows naturally like a good velote and hits you right in the face like a great wine. Whether you are a foody, chef or just looking for an entertaining read this is a must.
Anthony's travels through the underworld of chefdom confirm your worst fears and also build your appreciation of the hard slog that kitchen life really is for most non-TV chefs. From the characters he has met and shows fond affection for in his early years, to the intricacies of fighting to get the clean cloths at the start of a shift.
If your not a chef it is hard to believe at times, but speak to any chef who has read this book and they will tell you that it is very close to their reality. The ride goes from the very top of the souffle to the grimy bottom of the bowl. A must read.
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Kitchen Confidential
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain (Paperback - 3 Feb 2001)
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