Saturday, May 03, 2014

Review: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

Title: Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
Author: Anthony Bourdain
Genre: Memoir/Non-Fiction
Publication Date: 7th February 2001
Time: 8hrs 21mins
Narrator: Anthony Bourdain
Book Source: Own audio

Synopsis: A deliciously funny, delectably shocking banquet of wild-but-true tales of life in the culinary trade from Chef Anthony Bourdain, laying out his more than a quarter-century of drugs, sex, and haute cuisine—now with all-new, never-before-published material.

New York Chef Tony Bourdain gives away secrets of the trade in his wickedly funny, inspiring memoir/expose. Kitchen Confidential reveals what Bourdain calls "twenty-five years of sex, drugs, bad behavior and haute cuisine."

My Thoughts: 
An entertaining, often laugh-out-loud, sometimes cringe-worthy read about the overtly depraved world of chefs and cooks from master of crass, Anthony Bourdain. Not so much shocking, but ugly, irreverent, honest and ... hilarious; well I thought so ;)

It's as much about rails of coke and humping in the dry goods area, sexual misadventures, as it is about Anthony's highly contagious love of food and the day-to-day adrenaline rush of running a kitchen - from his first oyster as a child in France to executive chef at NYC's Les Halles. He's abrasive and vulgar, but his loyalty and self-deprecating humour and honesty is almost endearing. 

"We were high all the time, sneaking off to the walk-in at every opportunity to conceptualise. Hardly a decision was made without drugs; pot, Quaaludes, cocaine, LSD, Psilocybin mushrooms soaked in honey and used to sweeten tea, Seconal ..."

There were no particularly shocking "trade secrets"  ... 

don't order seafood on Mondays

stay away from "specials of the day" 

skip the mussels

if you're thinking of opening a restaurant ... don't

but the drug culture was an eye-opener. Anthony's gravelly voice is an easy listen so if you're up for a few hours of entertainment and don't mind your politically correct senses (and ears) being assaulted then you might just enjoy this wild, if slightly dated ride.  

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs.


  1. Sounds as entertaining as the Tv programme

    1. I'll have to check it out Mystica, if the book is anything to go by the TV series should be a hoot :)

  2. Ohhhhh this sounds interesting!!!!!

    1. Interesting for sure, probably not for everyone but I enjoyed it ;)

  3. Replies
    1. I haven't seen the food show B, but the book was fun!

  4. I loved this book, which I read a long time ago in print. I bet the audio was great.

    1. yeah I'm a bit late to the Anthony Bourdain party but bad boy makes good gets me every time ;)

  5. I think I liked this book as much as Medium Raw. He can be cringe worthy indeed! Entertaining writer,

  6. Oh! I love the Anthony's shows, I try not to miss any. I never though about reading one his books, I can already tell I would enjoy it. I like his voice and style when he narrates the little bits on his show.
    Thank you for reviewing

  7. Gosh I read this book ages ago, and it still remains one of my favourite "foodie" reads. I love his TV series as well.

  8. I'm addicted to his weekly show on CNN. He goes to a different city each week and explores the food scene. I'll have to think about this one. Not sure how interested I am in reading about the excesses of drug use but if I were listening to him read it I think it would help :)


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