If you know who Anthony Bourdain is you probably know him from his show No Reservations on the Travel Channel, and if you know him from there, you know what he’s like.
He is a punk-rock star of the kitchen, doing things unapologetically his way.
His distinct voice is unmistakable, and that is never clearer than in his book Kitchen Confidential.
Kitchen Confidential is Bourdain’s account of commercial kitchens, particularly those in New York City.
He recounts horror stories about bad fish, unsavory characters doing unsavory things in the dry goods closet, drug abuse and vulgarity.
He writes about the things he has seen and done over his years in the business, and he does so with a likable honesty.
In the beginning of the book he does his best to make it clear that he did not write the book because of any grudge towards his business—restaurants are his life, his passion.
He wrote the book so people could have a glimpse of his world, or if they already were a part of it so they could have something to relate to. Overall, it makes for a very entertaining book.
As much as the book is about cooking and running a kitchen, it is also about Bourdain himself.
Anthony Bourdain is either a man you love or you hate. By the end of the first few chapters a reader will have formed a strong opinion of him.
He might get on your nerves with his glorifying of bad behavior such as drug abuse and promiscuous sex.
He might scare you with his stories of what goes into your Sunday brunch, and he might disturb you with stories about the kind of people who make your food.
But if a reader likes him, they’ll forgive him this and keep reading.
Bourdain’s humor shines through even the grimmest of tales he tells about the kitchen. From his reconstructions of his earliest days as the lowliest person in the kitchen to the peak of his career running a successful kitchen, he tells his story in a very down-to-earth and funny manner.
While reading, you can almost hear him speaking. He does not write like anyone else.
The book is aimed at anyone who is passionate about food. Whether you are a professional cook, someone who spent a summer making french fries, someone who cooks for fun, or just someone who enjoys a good meal, you are bound to find something to enjoy in Kitchen Confidential.
Read it, love it, pass it on to a friend.