I am still reeling at the fact that I read this book last month for my book club and this month, he is no longer with us.
I had heard about Anthony Bourdain through commercials of his show “Parts Unknown” but never gave him or his show a second thought. Then I had to read this book and I was completely surprised by how much I actually liked it.
In Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain gives you the good and the bad of working in the restaurant industry from the hot, grueling, fast paced and sometimes volatile environment of the kitchen to the mouth watering menu choices that are picked. He delves into what makes a restaurant successful to giving the reader tips and tricks of kitchen supplies and chef etiquette.
What I liked most about this book is how Bourdain doesn’t hold back. He is crass and obnoxious but honest. At least, that is the sense you get while reading. There were times I was frustrated with him, especially as he described going from one low end kitchen job to the next, getting high and just not giving a damn. I wanted to shake him and yell at him to get his act together. But of course he does, or he wouldn’t have had a show on CNN or this book or the other books that he wrote. Yet, even as he described the horrors of the kitchen, the reader just knows that despite it, he loves what he does.
I also liked how Bourdain portioned out this book like a multi-course meal starting with the appetizer, which for him was when he fell in love with food. He part of the meal coincides with that portion of his life, or in this case, his journey to kitchen success. Finally you get to dessert, where Bourdain ends the book.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am now more curious about his show. I may just check it out. I just wish he was still around.