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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly [Kindle Edition]

Anthony Bourdain
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (319 customer reviews)

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From Amazon

Most diners 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 in Kitchen Confidential, 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. CIA-trained 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 favor 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

From Publishers Weekly

Chef at New York's Les Halles and author of Bone in the Throat, Bourdain pulls no punches in this memoir of his years in the restaurant business. His fast-lane personality and glee in recounting sophomoric kitchen pranks might be unbearable were it not for two things: Bourdain is as unsparingly acerbic with himself as he is with others, and he exhibits a sincere and profound love of good food. The latter was born on a family trip to France when young Bourdain tasted his first oyster, and his love has only grown since. He has attended culinary school, fallen prey to a drug habit and even established a restaurant in Tokyo, discovering along the way that the crazy, dirty, sometimes frightening world of the restaurant kitchen sustains him. Bourdain is no presentable TV version of a chef; he talks tough and dirty. His advice to aspiring chefs: "Show up at work on time six months in a row and we'll talk about red curry paste and lemon grass. Until then, I have four words for you: 'Shut the fuck up.' " He disdains vegetarians, warns against ordering food well done and cautions that restaurant brunches are a crapshoot. Gossipy chapters discuss the many restaurants where Bourdain has worked, while a single chapter on how to cook like a professional at home exhorts readers to buy a few simple gadgets, such as a metal ring for tall food. Most of the book, however, deals with Bourdain's own maturation as a chef, and the culmination, a litany describing the many scars and oddities that he has developed on his hands, is surprisingly beautiful. He'd probably hate to hear it, but Bourdain has a tender side, and when it peeks through his rough exterior and the wall of four-letter words he constructs, it elevates this book to something more than blustery memoir. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great read Feb. 20 2014
By kcarter
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very funny and interesting read. I always love autobiographies where you can learn something--in this case the life of a chef.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bourdain is a star! Jan. 4 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The altruistic poet-chef regales me with his wonderful tales of delight dans la cuisine. An enjoyable and hilarious read from cover to cover, Anthony Bourdain is a delightful and sardonic bad-boy chef mechant. He could write the phone book and make it interesting.
I want more!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unvarnished account of the life of a chef Sept. 25 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I found this book to be well written, very entertaining and a very informative account of his motivation to become a chef, and of the day to day life of a professional chef.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ahhhh Tony Sept. 13 2013
By eric
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I am a classically trained chef myself and having read the book and nodding, laughing and reliving the anecdotes in my head, minus the hard drug use it could have been my life in the book... listening to the book in Tony's voice makes it more poignant. Cook Free or Die!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Paired with Medium Raw, it's a great story April 23 2013
I read Kitchen Confidential a few years ago and recently re-read it just prior to reading Medium Raw. These two books paint a great picture of Anthony's life and the journey he has taken - I have both read and listened to them and I find the audio book wayyyyyy better - to hear him tell the story, I couldn't stop listening. Hilarious, great entertainment- all foodies and self-procliamed food nerds must read- though, I am sure you already have.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great read Jan. 9 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love watching Bourdain's show. This book was a hilarious read, showcasing the behind the scenes world of 70's and 80's kitchens across new york. Bourdain has an easy to read style and you will laughing out loud throughout the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The darker side of being a gifted Chef. Nov. 24 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book was riotously funny! It did,however, have some dark undertones which I found somewhat disturbing. Bourdain is indeed a gifted writer in addition to being a great Chef. I read this book from cover to cover and plan on re-reading it in the future. Anyone considering a career in the kitchen, particularly if you live in New York City, should consider reading it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great for aspiring chefs or former ones. May 19 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is just what it is, an insider's look at kitchen's and the people behind the food.

I was reading chapter after chapter saying to myself, "Yes, that really happens, it happened in a place I worked at!"

Anyone who wants to know the "real deal" in kitchens should read before venturing forth. Cooking is rewarding and brutal at the best of times. I watch his shows as well and glad he has kicked through the glass door. Its great for a few laughs for sure.
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