Little Tony was vacationing with his family in France when he fell in love with food. However it wasn’t the croissants that did him in, or the sweets. It wasn’t Julia Child’s buttered fried fish or seared slices of foie gras. Tony’s love of food was born when an old French fisherman offered him a half-shell oyster. Now more than 30 years later, Anthony Bourdain is head chef at New York’s classy Les Halles restaurant. He’s a Culinary Institute of America graduate, an author, a TV personality, and a conqueror of fine cuisine. He has worked his way up the hierarchy of the restaurant world and has absorbed quite a few punches, drugs, and alcohol along the way.
In his rough and honest memoir, Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain pulls out all the stops, taking his readers back to his start in the world of the culinary arts. If you’ve ever thought about becoming a chef or have wondered what it would be like to work in a gastropub, this is the book for you. If you love Bourdain’s TV shows and get a kick out of his crude and unruly behavior, this is the book for you. If you’re still under the impression that highly trained culinary chefs are proper and kind men who don’t spit in your food, drop your food on the floor, have intimate relations in the restaurant kitchens, sell drugs in the back alley, or arrive to work drunk or hung over 6 days a week, this is the book for you.
Kitchen Confidential, if anything, is an illuminating look at the struggles, hardships, and bulls*** that goes on in various restaurant kitchens. Not only will this book change what you order when you go out to eat, but you’ll think twice about when you go out, where you dine, and how you order your food. Bourdain’s personality shines through the pages as he tells the reader stories that will make you laugh, cry, and cringe. Lovers of No Reservations will enjoy Bourdain’s quick wit and humor in Kitchen Confidential and will get a better understanding as to why this rough and tough bad guy is the way he is.
NEXT WEEK: We’re going to take a look at the private lives of the two women who changed everything about home cooking.
Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.