Kitchen Confidential, narrated by the author and well-known chef Anthony Bourdain is a “Don’t eat at a well-known restaurant in New York before you read this” type of book. Anthony, in his typical dead pan style takes you through the ups and downs of his world of when you should and when you should not order seafood, why brunches and buffets are the dirty under belly of the food world, as well as good and bad relationships that go on beyond closed doors – or pointedly the kitchen. Kitchen Confidential will take you through Anthony’s rocky start in the world of white aprons and funny hats. Through sex, drugs, and filet Mignon – the secrets of presentation and “how do I get my potatoes and chicken to stack tall like a restaurants, are all inside, if you dare to listen.
I have listened to and enjoyed Anthony Bourdain before in Medium Raw, another of his books on the adventures and pleasures of food. Kitchen Confidential is, in my opinion, rawer than Medium Raw. Anthony is more vulgar, or I suppose, honest in the relationships of the cooking world. Let’s just say that in Kitchen Confidential Anthony readily admits that what he is sharing in this book could possibly get him fired…. if he is just being his sarcastic self, I do not know, but Kitchen Confidential is not for the faint of heart.
Be sure before you enter into this read that you are committed to really wanting to know what is happening behind the kitchen wall. Kitchen Confidential would easily receive a “R” rating if this were a TV show for language, drunks, sex and drugs. Practices that you would probably rather not know about, but perhaps have often wondered (what do they really do with that bread plate that you did not eat?) are revealed. Yet it is not all stomach turning and checking another restaurant off your must try list. Anthony also shares tips for your own cooking skills – sharing with the reader how not to be caught up in the chef knives industry and expense when really you only need one knife that is not a budget breaker and can do just about everything the bank breaking expensive sets do.
While I will admit that there are times Anthony Bourdain steps over the line of TMI a time or two or fourteen… I still enjoy listening to his stories. Beyond the world of food and chefs, Anthony is also an incredible story-teller and if you can handle the truth (which some of we probably suspected) it is a dish worth trying.