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Kitchen Confidential reveals what Bourdain calls "twenty-five years of sex, drugs, bad behavior and haute cuisine."
Last summer, The New Yorker published Chef Bourdain's shocking, "Don't Eat Before Reading This." Bourdain spared no one's appetite when he told all about what happens behind the kitchen door. Bourdain uses the same "take-no-prisoners" attitude in his deliciously funny and shockingly delectable book, sure to delight gourmands and philistines alike. From Bourdain's first oyster in the Gironde, to his lowly position as dishwasher in a honky tonk fish restaurant in Provincetown (where he witnesses for the first time the real delights of being a chef); from the kitchen of the Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center, to drug dealers in the east village, from Tokyo to Paris and back to New York again, Bourdain's tales of the kitchen are as passionate as they are unpredictable. Kitchen Confidential will make your mouth water while your belly aches with laughter. You'll beg the chef for more, please.

Topics: Food History, Chefs, Celebrities, Candid, Witty, Tips & Tricks, Gossip, Realistic, Funny, First Person Narration, 2000s, and Creative Nonfiction

Published: Bloomsbury USA an imprint of Bloomsbury USA on Dec 10, 2008
ISBN: 9781596917248
List price: $9.99
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A classic behind the scenes look at restaurants and working in a kitchen.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Perhaps if Mr. Bourdain spent less time attempting to convince the reader that he's the most fabulous, intelligent, masterful chef to have ever graced the world with his presence, we may have a half-way decent book on our hands. Instead, we see Mr. Bourdain gloat about smoking marijuana, snorting coke, having sex, and generally being better than every single human being who surrounds him. Not only that, but many of the passages in the book are so outlandishly ludicrous that I find it difficult to ever imagine the scenarios actually playing out in real life. This reads less like a autobiography and more like Mr. Bourdain desperately trying to prove to the world he has led, and continues to lead, a totally rock-star, ultra-badass life that is definitely cooler than yours, because he is way better than you. Ugh. Save yourself a few hundred pages of un-contained ego-tripping, and read something else. Would rate 0 stars if possible.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Written by a chef working 17-hour days in a New York restaurant (when did he find the time?), this memoir supposedly exposes the “culinary underbelly.” I found it entertaining enough, but I wanted to know how a restaurant really works. Bourdain never really got his teeth into that. Instead, it was an amusing anecdote, an exaggeration designed to impress, an inside joke for his friends on each page. I thought 90 percent was faulty memory or just plain embellishment. And at the end, I didn’t know much more than when I started, other than that professional chefs look down on those of us who want to learn more about the restaurant business. But I will be fair: I did learn a few things, and I was moderately entertained.read more
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A classic behind the scenes look at restaurants and working in a kitchen.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Perhaps if Mr. Bourdain spent less time attempting to convince the reader that he's the most fabulous, intelligent, masterful chef to have ever graced the world with his presence, we may have a half-way decent book on our hands. Instead, we see Mr. Bourdain gloat about smoking marijuana, snorting coke, having sex, and generally being better than every single human being who surrounds him. Not only that, but many of the passages in the book are so outlandishly ludicrous that I find it difficult to ever imagine the scenarios actually playing out in real life. This reads less like a autobiography and more like Mr. Bourdain desperately trying to prove to the world he has led, and continues to lead, a totally rock-star, ultra-badass life that is definitely cooler than yours, because he is way better than you. Ugh. Save yourself a few hundred pages of un-contained ego-tripping, and read something else. Would rate 0 stars if possible.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Written by a chef working 17-hour days in a New York restaurant (when did he find the time?), this memoir supposedly exposes the “culinary underbelly.” I found it entertaining enough, but I wanted to know how a restaurant really works. Bourdain never really got his teeth into that. Instead, it was an amusing anecdote, an exaggeration designed to impress, an inside joke for his friends on each page. I thought 90 percent was faulty memory or just plain embellishment. And at the end, I didn’t know much more than when I started, other than that professional chefs look down on those of us who want to learn more about the restaurant business. But I will be fair: I did learn a few things, and I was moderately entertained.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I kept hearing about this book from two friends, and finally read it largely out of self defense. Unfortunately, Bourdain comes across as a bit of an ass, and I gave up on drug-soaked memoirs long ago.

He "exposes" the dark underbelly of the culinary world, and after a couple hundred pages of nothing but over-the-top descriptions of co-workers, restaurant owners and his own escapades, I lost interest.

Or more accurately, I lost trust in his perceptions. Everything can't always be larger than life, and "gonzo" tends to wear out over time.

Bourdain's description of an average workday (and what it took to keep a restaurant running) was interesting, but overall, I had trouble staying interested.
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Fun read. Bourdain writes in a very frank and informal style. I liked that the book wasn't quite an autobiography - it talked about his coming up in the cooking world, but he spent very little time on his wife or his personal life. Kitchen Confidential is often quoted for some of the advice Bourdain dispenses (including the infamous "never order fish on Monday"), but this is actually a very small part of the book (compromising a small part of a single chapter). The rest of the book has a chef-turned-author alternating between waxing poetic about the food he loves, and deriding his extremely dysfunctional "family" (the cooks and chefs in his life). The prose about his family is honest and full of both genuine love and hate, and while the talk about food is over the top, it can be forgiven as ramblings from a man in the middle of a lifelong on-again off-again love affair with food.
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This was a fun memoir from a chef in the New York restaurant scene. Great for people who love food and for those who work or have worked in the restaurant industry...
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