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Kitchen Confidential by [Bourdain, Anthony]
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Kitchen Confidential Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 129 customer reviews

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Length: 321 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Amazon.co.uk Review

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

Amazon Review

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


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 778 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (20 Dec. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004U9J9GS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 129 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,341 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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By Andrew Kerr TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Oct. 2003
Format: 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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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.
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Format: 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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