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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the…

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000)

by Anthony Bourdain

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,085196507 (3.91)190
Recently added byaclason, private library, jamdye, mhn, clubsandwichsupreme, Jane.G.Reyna, peacocoa, JodiSiegner
  1. 91
    Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tus by Bill Buford (Talbin)
  2. 61
    The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten (Ronoc)
  3. 30
    No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach by Anthony Bourdain (John_Vaughan)
  4. 20
    Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking by Anthony Bourdain (thebookpile)
  5. 20
    Spiced: A Pastry Chef's True Stories of Trials by Fire, After-Hours Exploits, and What Really Goes on in the Kitchen by Dalia Jurgensen (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These two memoirs both provide behind-the-scenes accounts of life in New York City restaurant kitchens. Though Kitchen Confidential uses more explicit language, both represent a chef's reality: rampant sexism, high staff turnover, and the wild lives of kitchen staff.… (more)
  6. 20
    Cooking Dirty: A Story of Life, Sex, Love and Death in the Kitchen by Jason Sheehan (erickandow)
  7. 31
    Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell (sbuehrle)
  8. 31
    Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard Feynman (noise)
    noise: Both Tony Bourdain and Richard Feynman have (had) an incredible knack for writing highly informative and page turning memoirs. If you've read one but not the other, you're in for a treat.
  9. 20
    Don't Try This At Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Cooks and Chefs by Kimberly Witherspoon (caseydurfee)
  10. 10
    Life, on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat by Grant Achatz (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Both are very well organized, easy (and enjoyable) to read from cover to cover.
  11. 10
    Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton (MyriadBooks)
  12. 11
    Liquor by Poppy Z. Brite (sbuehrle)
    sbuehrle: Brite's book about two young chefs draws from Bourdain's tell-all with a fictional twist.

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» See also 190 mentions

English (193)  Finnish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  All (197)
Showing 1-5 of 193 (next | show all)
Engaging story and writing for sure. Bourdain is putting together a very respectable body of work with book and travel-cooking shows putting his philosophy out there for the world to see while he lives it. ( )
  JBreedlove | Jun 2, 2017 |
Anthony Bourdain is what I would consider a "blue collar" Celebrity Chef. His TV shows always find the interesting places and interesting foods. He's now more of a travel writer, than a cook (in my opinion). This is his memoirs of his early days as a novice cook and top Chef. A tale of long days, copious amounts of drugs and alcohol and great food. Its also good look into what it takes to run a high-end restaurant. Some key takeaways for me were, don't eat fish on Sunday, don't be surprised that your bread bowl contains recycled bread from other plates, and brunch hollandaise is probably made from left over butter.

I listened to this on audio. Bourdain narrated it himself. He has a great speaking voice, and it definitely adds to the enjoyment of this book. Whether or not you are a foodie, I highly recommend this book

9/10 ( )
  mahsdad | May 25, 2017 |
The machismo was nearly unbearable, but all in all, a fun read. ( )
  Pamici | Mar 31, 2017 |
I have a militant, sometimes vicious disdain for food, as a banal time-sink, an enormous waste of human life, money, and effort. But I love obsessive subcultures. So, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Poppy Z. Brite's Liquor, and Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. I still don't give a shit about food, but I can appreciate nerds talking at length about their passions. ( )
  ZoneSeek | Mar 3, 2017 |
If you've seen his programs, then you know to expect (minus the TV censors). This is mostly an autobiographical account of his rise in the culinary world, as well as a brutally honest look at the restaurant business.

If profanity, drinking, drug use, and general depravity bothers you then skip this one. But Bourdain's love for food and cooking shine through and there are some laugh out loud moments. I also learned useful tips, such as never order fish on a Monday :-)

I read this as an audiobook and enjoyed listening to the author read his own work. He writes like he talks, full of irreverent humor.
( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 193 (next | show all)
This is one bitter, nasty, searing, hard-to-swallow piece of work. But if you can choke the thing down, youll (sic) probably wake up grinning in the middle of the night. Bourdain is a force of unruly nature, a lifelong misanthrope and currently the executive chef at the Brasserie Les Halles, whose clientele, now that this book is out, must be accounted among the more courageous diners in New York.
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Don't get me wrong: I love the restaurant business. Hell, I'm still in the restaurant business -- a lifetime, classically trained chef who, an hour from now, will probably be roasting bones for demi-glace and butchering beef tenderloins in a cellar prep kitchen on lower Park Avenue.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060899220, Paperback)

Most diners believe that their sublime sliver of seared foie gras, topped with an ethereal buckwheat blini and a drizzle of piquant huckleberry sauce, was created by a culinary artist of the highest order, a sensitive, highly refined executive chef. The truth is more brutal. More likely, writes Anthony Bourdain in Kitchen Confidential, that elegant three-star concoction is the collaborative effort of a team of "wacked-out moral degenerates, dope fiends, refugees, a thuggish assortment of drunks, sneak thieves, sluts, and psychopaths," in all likelihood pierced or tattooed and incapable of uttering a sentence without an expletive or a foreign phrase. Such is the muscular view of the culinary trenches from one who's been groveling in them, with obvious sadomasochistic pleasure, for more than 20 years. CIA-trained Bourdain, currently the executive chef of the celebrated Les Halles, wrote two culinary mysteries before his first (and infamous) New Yorker essay launched this frank confessional about the lusty and larcenous real lives of cooks and restaurateurs. He is obscenely eloquent, unapologetically opinionated, and a damn fine storyteller--a Jack Kerouac of the kitchen. Those without the stomach for this kind of joyride should note his opening caveat: "There will be horror stories. Heavy drinking, drugs, screwing in the dry-goods area, unappetizing industry-wide practices. Talking about why you probably shouldn't order fish on a Monday, why those who favor well-done get the scrapings from the bottom of the barrel, and why seafood frittata is not a wise brunch selection.... But I'm simply not going to deceive anybody about the life as I've seen it." --Sumi Hahn

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:05 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

New York chef and novelist Bourdain recounts his experiences in the restaurant business, and exposes abuses of power, sexual promiscuity, drug use, and other secrets of life behind kitchen doors.

» see all 7 descriptions

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