- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st Ecco Ed edition (19 April 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060934913
- ISBN-13: 978-0060934910
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,810,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly Paperback – 19 Apr 2001
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Kitchen Confidential is for diners who believe that their sublime sliver of seared foie gras, topped with an ethereal buckwheat blini and a drizzle of piquant huckleberry sauce, was created by a culinary artist of the highest order, a sensitive, highly refined executive chef. The truth is more brutal. More likely, writes Anthony Bourdain, that elegant three-star concoction is the collaborative effort of a team of "wacked-out moral degenerates, dope fiends, refugees, a thuggish assortment of drunks, sneak thieves, sluts and psychopaths," in all likelihood pierced or tattooed and incapable of uttering a sentence without an expletive or a foreign phrase. Such is the muscular view of the culinary trenches from one who's been groveling in them, with obvious sadomasochistic pleasure, for more than 20 years.
Bourdain, currently the executive chef of the celebrated Les Halles, wrote two culinary mysteries before his first (and infamous) New Yorker essay launched this frank confessional about the lusty and larcenous real lives of cooks and restaurateurs. He is obscenely eloquent, unapologetically opinionated, and a damn fine storyteller--a Jack Kerouac of the kitchen. Those without the stomach for this kind of joyride should note his opening caveat: "There will be horror stories. Heavy drinking, drugs, screwing in the dry-goods area, unappetizing industry-wide practices. Talking about why you probably shouldn't order fish on a Monday, why those who favour well-done get the scrapings from the bottom of the barrel, and why seafood frittata is not a wise brunch selection.... But I'm simply not going to deceive anybody about the life as I've seen it." --Sumi Hahn --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Hysterical.... Bourdain gleefully rips through the scenery to reveal private backstage horrors.--New York Times Book Review
."..the kind of book you read in one sitting, then rush about annoying your coworkers by declaiming whole passages."--USA Today
Bourdain captures the world of restaurants and professionally cooked food in all its theatrical, demented glory.--USA Today
A gonzo memoir of whats really going on behind those swinging doors.... Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain is unique.--Newsweek
"You'll laugh, you'll cry...you're gonna love it."--Denver Post
"Utterly riveting, swaggering with stylish machismo and precise ear for kitchen patois."--New York magazine
Bourdain's prose is utterly riveting, swaggering with stylish machismo and a precise ear for kitchen patois.--New York magazine
"The kind of book you read in one sitting, then rush about annoying your coworkers by declaiming whole passages."--USA Today
Utterly riveting, swaggering with stylish machismo and precise ear for kitchen patois. --New York magazine"
You ll laugh, you ll cry...you re gonna love it. --Denver Post"
The kind of book you read in one sitting, then rush about annoying your coworkers by declaiming whole passages. --USA Today"
Bourdain s prose is utterly riveting, swaggering with stylish machismo and a precise ear for kitchen patois.--New York magazine" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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).
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Its a hard life... That's the chefs life! This book shows things as they are in the real kitchens a grim view of our loved worldPublished 21 hours ago by robert bjelland
Brilliant read, witty, refreshingly honest, conniving, full of pearls of wisdom and hints of well deserved arrogance. Just like Bourdain himself.Published 2 months ago by adam riches
Good hints about the industry.Honest in his assesments. Enjoyable read.Published 6 months ago by Mr Mark McGeough
Must read it! We all know Ms Bourdain, I personally love him as chef and tv personalities..whit this book you'll understand the man behind the name and how difficult and long was... Read morePublished 13 months ago by marta magnetti
Excellent didn't want to put this book down gave a really good insight to behind the scenes of life in kitchensPublished 13 months ago by Kathleen Linehan
booked arrived quickly and in great condition, this is a classic book if you have not read it
very more ish and difficult to put down until finished reading
it is a... Read more