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100 Reviews
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12 of 13 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

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tall tales told at the end of a full day
This autobiography is now seen as a classic; it's worth asking how much it has contributed to the assumption among young cooks that the professional catering world is a testosterone-fuelled battlefield, with the customers the enemy as much as rival establishments. However much of this is true to life, Bourdain has undoubtedly chosen to emphasise this aspect of his life's...
Published on 25 Jun. 2011 by Peasant


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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humour, drugs, profanity and good food - heaven!, 17 Nov. 2000
By 
Sally (Sydney, N.S.W. Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Hardcover)
You don't have to be a chef to love this book - just someone who's curious about life behind the kitchen doors. Who knew it involved so much sex, drugs and rock and roll? But be careful if you read this in public because you will laugh out loud - a lot.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars if you are a chef buy it, 12 Sept. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Hardcover)
to be a cook this guy is a master, in few words he explain what exactly happens behind the revolving doors of a restaurant in a way that even a profane is amused
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Over-egging the pudding, 5 Jan. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Hardcover)
For an admittedly talented man, Bourdain seems to have a rather depressing over-reliance on the language and preening of machismo. Being wildly gifted and creative as a chef is clearly not enough... but delusions of testosterone-fuelled, mafiosi-style swagger are ill advised. What a shame he couldn't have toned down the ludicrous posturing of his prose, and just stuck to the facts of his life and trade which, in themselves, make this an extremely entertaining book. An amusing little number, but lacks substance.
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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the effort - poorly written and, frankly, boring, 26 Jan. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Paperback)
Oh dear. Whoever decided this was a modern classic? OK, so a couple of chapters were mildly interesting - what not to eat in restaurants, for example. But the rest...I was actually bored. The writing style is affected in the worst possible way. Even if people really do talk in that way, it does not make for enjoyable prose. And I increasingly found I could care less for the culinary world inhabited by Bourdain.
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11 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well written but patronising, 13 Oct. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Paperback)
This book set off a whole range of emotions in me as I trundled through it. The author has an agreeable writing style; he writes about a subject that many people are deeply interested in; and he probably undersells himself.
As a book that is sold as being "more gripping than a Stephen King novel" it fails. As a set of stories wrapped around a central culinary theme it's good enough to read all of the way through.
What Bourdain has done is to map out his quarter century or so in the kitchens of the good and the bad, the large and the small, the famous and the infamous. A whole panoply of anecdotes cascade off each page; and he drops names and recipes and kitchenspeak like many people drop names. I imagine many of the terms he assails us with will pass happily by without being recognised by the majority of his readers... The problem here is that Bourdain has tried to regale us with stories of good food well prepared but the jargon got in the way: too much dressing, over egging the pudding ...
Not surprisingly, he mentions knives a lot: after all, it must be difficult to create the kind of food Bourdain discusses without decent tools mustn't it? I'm nowhere near being a chef but I have learned the value of a good knife or two in the kitchen: blunt knives are more dangerous than sharp ones; and cheap unbalanced knives are downright difficult to work with.
Bourdain's main characters are presented as if they could all have been the main in M*A*S*H in an Accident and Emergency Ward of a hospital or even in Bomber Command. Gallant heroes all with bodily capacities that Rambo would be jealous of. Sleep deprived, highly stressed, debauched, suffering awful bosses and customers and suppliers alike. Bourdain tells tales involving Americans, Ecuadorians, Mexicans and others and manages to weave an intriguing pattern of how cultures merge, mingle and divide all at the same time...
As far as food is concerned, we get snippets as I've already mentioned. Bourdain tells of bottles of wine selling in restaurants at $25,000 each: well, completely warped values if you ask me. He mentions truffles a lot, perhaps too much: truffles here, there and everywhere; and where there are no truffles, he takes truffle oil. He sometimes dismisses food that can sell for, say, $35 a dish but which cost around $1 to make: good business no doubt, but Bourdain appears to disdain it and/or the people who buy it.
Finally, Bourdain is totally dismissive of vegetarians. He gives a reason and I assume he genuinely believes it. Well, as a veggie of some 12 years' standing I can't agree with him. I find that veggie food can be far richer than many meat based dishes and seem to survive quite well, thank you!
There are some good stories in this book, there are chapters devoted to people he admires a lot and they are worth a read. Bourdain's most worrying story to some extent is the one in which an apparently attractive bride, still wearing her wedding dress and in the middle of her reception/wedding breakfast, takes a chef outside the hotel and in a most unceremonious and tacky way, gives herself to him, a total stranger, whilst Bourdain and his colleagues watch on.
That's it, not a hot read for me and I wouldn't want you to dash off to the bookshop thinking I was doing you a massive favour by advising you should!
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ANTHONY BOURDAIN Kitchen Confidential, 3 Sept. 2008
By 
Blue Yates (Staffordshire UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Paperback)
Perhaps the first celebrated 'real-life' chef memoir and certainly one that makes the man who just julienned your carrots sound like Staff Sgt. Barnes in 'Platoon'.
This is an entertaining read with great advice on knives, garlic, ordering fish and what the professionals think of vegans, though it is often pointlessly testosterone fuelled and banal. I don't know what it is about chefs that they see the world split into 'chefs' and 'civilians'. Maybe they are all frustrated NCOs. I can think of a TV chef who probably is. And what do they think's going to happen to them if their sea-bass is marinated in the wrong tone of voice? Maybe somebody's going to take them outside and shoot them? Maybe somebody should.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed with delivered version compared with original hardback copy, 13 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Paperback)
Did not realise it would be small-print paper back. Had hoped for original published version. Antony
bourdain would be disappointed too.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good starter let down by self-indulgent main course, 19 Feb. 2002
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Paperback)
Having heard the author reading parts of this on radio, I bought it expecting witty anecdotes and insights. It starts OK, but soon becomes a school essay on "What I've done with my life". We are not allowed to forget that cooking is the new rock 'n roll and Mr. Bourdain is, of course, a fabulous superstar who has overcome every (self-inflicted) obstacle.
To say that Mr. Bourdain is egotistical is like saying that pomegranates have a few seeds in them. To say that he is a good writer is like saying that brussel sprouts are a gourmet delight.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HILARIOUS AND REALISTIC, 21 Mar. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Paperback)
Mr Bourdain is very funny, humane, honest and a loving person. The book is well structed and well written. He tells us how he falls in love with food and how he becomes a chef. This autobiography is full of good and funny stories, real life scenes in the kitchen, recipes, tips of the trade, real people and tears and laughter. He is honest in telling us what really happens behind the kitchen door (including his old drug taking habits) and it is an eye opener to people who are not in his trade.
He has a good sense of humour and is an excellent story teller.
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6 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not really anything Confidential at all, by Anthony Bourdom, 25 Mar. 2003
By 
SN Freeman (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Kitchen Confidential (Paperback)
I found this book to be a load of self-indulgent pap. I was mildly interested in parts of the book but not enough to finish the thing. Bourdain was incessantly dull, narcissistic and with a warped sense of his own self importance and intellect.
I was especially disappointed as I had read so many good reviews of this book and heard about it from friends, but I can honestly say that you're better off not bothering, especially if you're female, need a stimulating read or just not interested ENOUGH in cooking to read 3 consecutive pages of Bourdain's prescribed way to peel and chop shallots.
Sorry, but really not worth your money. I'm using my copy as house insulation now.
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Kitchen Confidential
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain (Paperback - 3 Feb. 2001)
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