Weekend Cooking: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

From the Unabridged Compact Disc editionKitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
Published by Random House Audio

Anthony Bourdain is not afraid to tell it like it is, and in Kitchen Confidential he takes the reader behind the scenes into the restaurant industry, showing the gritty, shocking aspects of life in a restaurant kitchen. Using his trademark sarcasm and deadpan hilariousness, Bourdain details his twenty-five years of life in the culinary world.

I find Anthony Bourdain absolutely hysterical and I love his dry, witty sense of humor, so when I saw that this book was available on audio (narrated by Bourdain himself) I couldn’t resist. The book was exactly what I was expecting and I’m glad that I read it, although I do need to caution you because the things he has to say really can be shocking and disgusting. I worked in the restaurant industry for years, and although I didn’t spend a ton of time in the kitchen (I was a server and later a bartender) I can tell you for sure that some of the things he describes I personally saw with my own eyes. So, unfortunately, he’s not lying here.

Besides the restaurant stuff, I enjoyed getting a peek into the way Bourdain’s mind works. There was one chapter where he literally runs through an entire average day, in excruciating detail, down to what he’s thinking about at each particular moment, and while this might be boring or annoying to some, I found it quite fascinating. It’s amazing how much detail, effort, and precision goes into running a restaurant kitchen and Bourdain illuminated that very well for the reader. Also, he’s just a touch crazy – in a good, entertaining way – so that made this section especially fun to listen to.

If you’re looking for a funny, truthful look at what really goes on in restaurant kitchens across America, look no further than Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. Anthony Bourdain is sarcastic, witty, and scarily truthful as he details his life in the business and the things he’s experienced over his twenty-five years of experience. This audio was very enjoyable for me and I would definitely recommend it.

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9 thoughts on “Weekend Cooking: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

  1. I loved this book when I read it several years ago, and think that Bourdain walks the line between being a little vulgar and really impressive. I will never really forget his treatise on hollandaise sauce and fish, and sometimes think about some of the things I read in this book when I go out to eat. He does have strong opinions, and is not afraid to offend, but I think that is part of his charm, in a way. This was a great review, and I am glad that you enjoyed the book!

  2. I bought this book at the airport once when I was scared I was going to run out of things to read. But I never did read it. I do love the cooking industry, and have these little fantasies (not long ones, but fantasies nevertheless) about being a chef because I love to cook. I’m going to have to dig out this book!

  3. I enjoyed your review and I think I would like/not like this book. We eat out a fair bit and I really don’t want to know what goes on in the kitchen. Whenever I question such things it takes my appetite away immediately.

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