I began this book with much excitement and anticipation in having heard wonderful things about Kitchen Confidential. However, I was gravely disappointed.
Bourdain is simply ignorant. His comments and judgements are ill-founded and demonstrate complete cultural imperialism. I have read many travel-foodie books, but never one where the author was so completely disrespectful.
Bourdain tries to position himself on a throne, above all celebrity chefs who aren't 'cooking in kitchens'. Given, that he is a judge on Top Chef, this is highly ironic and hypocrital. At the very least, food becomes more accessible through books and television - food an ordinary person cannot try or experience. Bourdain fails to see his priviledge in access to the finest in life, judging all those who consume in such mediums of access. Is his book not just that - a window into an opportunity, the average person would not have? At least Emeril, who he picks on repeatedly, is humble and attempts to make ingredients and foods accessible to people who cannot afford to visit French Laundry.
Don't bite the hand that feeds you. Bourdain has profited greatly from this supposed `selling out'. He spends endless amount of time complaining and complaining and complaining and complaining about being pushed into this Food Network world. Get off your high horse Bourdain...as he travels and encounters poverty at its worst, he still manages to feel sorry for himself for having to show up to a TV set.
Bourdain is ridiculous in the assumptions he makes about cultures, communities and people. Bourdain is not a historian, so perhaps he should fact check his books.
I completely understand that as a chef, vegetarianism isn't his desired culinary lifestyle choice. However, he makes sweeping generalizations about an entire group through seeking out the extreme case. Perhaps, he does this to justify his own brutality and unethical approach to food. As a chef, one would think he would have the common sense to see the value in ethical consumption of food products in general - meat or otherwise. Many vegetarians disagree with the mass meat factory production that has taken over the meat industry, rather than meat eating itself.I have yet to meet a vegetarian that suggest that EVERYONE, including those living in poverty, should be consuming organic vegetables and soy. He also fails to recognize (or visit) vast areas of vegetarians throughout the world based on cultural or religious beliefs. His comments are highly bigoted, given the generations of various indigenous populations that have had a vegetarian and eco-friendly food consumption cycle.
Essentially, this book is his ignorant ramblings. One would think to publish a book at his level, he would hire a fact checker.
Offensive, bigoted and a true imperialist - Bourdain proves to be nothing but a overpriviledged, White, American on a quest to affirm his own lifestyle.