Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Books That Make Us Hungry: Kitchen Confidential
Janet here: I have had Anthony Bourdain's bestseller Kitchen Confidential on my bookshelf for a few years, but for some reason I just never got around to opening it up until a few months ago. This was a mistake.
This is a wonderful no-holds-barred Hunter Thompsonesque romp through the kitchens Bourdain inhabited before he became famous as a host of No Reservations on the Travel Channel. That Bourdain was around long enough to write this lively tale, much less become an acclaimed chef, is incredible given that he drank, coked and heroined his way through much of the early years of his chef life. Nor is he apparently alone. Any illusion that the restaurant business is glamorous or even sane goes up in smoke as Bourdain dishes on the back-room machinations in the many kitchens he's worked in. The writing is vibrant (if you are averse to swearing, don't get this book; Bourdain peppers his sentences with the F word as liberally as he seasons his food), the stories often hilarious and the look into restaurant life fascinating. Like a good meal, you'll savor it and be left wanting more. You'll also learn why you should never, and I mean never, order fish on a Monday.