Kitchen Confidential

Thoughts kcbyab Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain, ecco An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 2007 (orig 2000), 312 pages

For the What’s In a Name 6 Challenge: Kitchen

SO good! and why did it take me over two months to work my way through this? Dunno. But that’s OK. It is a great book for setting down and coming back to at a later time with no feel of annoying detrimental interruption.

I can always tell when a person doesn’t watch TV when they claim they have never heard of Anthony Bourdain. I could understand if someone doesn’t like him but if you *do* like him, why haven’t you read this book yet?  It’s just fascinating. And fun. And bat shit crazy!

No way my personality could ever lead me to a career as a chef. Now, I loved LOVED working in the restaurant* biz and I can legitimately claim to have worked in the trenches – hospitality side and kitchen side as well as at the corporate level watching the whole thing operate from the ‘upstairs’ view and I do get how people can love the industry. But it is hard work.

So a big thank you to Bourdain for deciding to write this book. Thank you for the eye-opening adventures, the advice on careers and how/when to choose a restaurant or a knife to buy, and for the encouragement to eat and appreciate food.

One crazy lovely sentence:

“I’m a bony whippet-thin, gristly, tendony strip of humanity, and after weeks running up and down the steps at Teatro from prep kitchen to a la carte kitchen – like some hyperactive forest ranger, always trying to put out brush fires to avoid actual conflagerations – I looked as if I’d been breathing pure crack in some VC tiger cage for the last ten years.”

Rating:  Four slices of pie. With lots of alcohol-laden whipped cream. REAL whipped cream not the fake crap in a tub. Just put your metal mixing bowl in the freezer with the whippers for a few minutes till appropriately chilled, then pour in heavy cream and set to whip on your fancy* colored KitchenAid, drizzle some bourbon in and dollop from a big spoon onto that piece of pie. Those four slices of pie. I don’t care what kind of pie.

My KitchenAid is white, thankyouverymuch. And I use it almost exclusively for whipped cream.



* My very first job, age 15, was Hostess at Red Lobster and I continued to work there summers during college. I also worked at the corporate offices Houlihans. Best job I’ve ever had.

** Thank you to everyone who wished me a Happy Lobster Day! Apparently, June 15 has been designated such and I hope to be better prepared for it next year.


Copyright © 2007-2013. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

16 thoughts on “Kitchen Confidential

  1. I could never work in the food service industry. You know that commercial in which the waitress delivers the guy’s sandwich and he politely says, “I ordered this without mayonnaise” (or however he says it), and the waitress scrapes the mayonnaise off the bread on the edge of the table? That’s me. So I have ALL THE RESPECT for people who DO work in food service.

  2. I STILL haven’t read anything by Bourdain…I love him too. I’ve been meaning to read this book for years…gotta do that! Oooh…I beat this one would be really good on audio!

    1. Cool. I really am intrigued by this turn in career he has experienced. SO he sets out to write a book – when he is already crazy busy being a chef. and then POW – he’s jetting around the world talking to a camera.

    1. Would you be offended? I think you’d get past it, easy enough. He does have such a rogue charm and he ends up obviously very loyal and committed to the people in his life – a good thing.

      1. I don’t think I’d be offended, to be honest. I’m really quite fond of him. There are times he can be slightly annoying but “rogue charm” is an excellent description. I love the way he speaks his mind and how he embraces uniqueness of culture.

  3. Pingback: Finished 2013 What’s in a Name 6 Challenge | Care's Online Book Club

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