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
--This text refers to the
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.
--This text refers to the
“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 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 )
Bourdain’s prose is utterly riveting, swaggering with stylish machismo and a precise ear for kitchen patois. (New York magazine )
Hysterical.... Bourdain gleefully rips through the scenery to reveal private backstage horrors. (New York Times Book Review )
From the Back Cover
A pocket-size edition of the megabestselling classic, hand-annotated throughout by Anthony Bourdain himself.
Bourdain's deliciously funny, delectably shocking banquet of wild-but-true tales of life in the culinary trade lays out more than a quarter century of drugs, sex, and haute cuisine.
--This text refers to an alternate
About the Author
Anthony Bourdain is the author of the novels Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo, in addition to the mega-bestseller Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour. He is the host of the popular television show No Reservations.
If you've ever wondered how that boeuf en croute got to your restaurant table, this tape tells all. At warp speed, reflecting his high-energy personality, Bourdain covers chef's training, personalities, food prep, cooks' lifestyles (boozy and erratic), his own history (druggy), and the art of running a successful restaurant. He doesn't stint on the gritty details or the four-letter words, so be prepared. His French pronunciation is surprisingly poor for someone who has lived in France, but his Spanish (highly recommended for communicating with the kitchen help) sounds ok. Presently the executive chef at Brassierie Les Halles in New York City, Bourdain delivers his description of one busy dinner hour at the frenetic pace required for survival there. Give this one a taste; you'll be amused, educated, maybe a little horrified, but never bored. J.B.G. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.