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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the…

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000)

by Anthony Bourdain

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,495206714 (3.91)216
Recently added byprivate library, Fiddleback_, chasebook, codicus, amchoong, gc249, LyndaInOregon, joshnyoung, 303CaTJ
  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 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
    Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton (MyriadBooks)
  7. 31
    Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell (sbuehrle)
  8. 20
    Cooking Dirty: A Story of Life, Sex, Love and Death in the Kitchen by Jason Sheehan (erickandow)
  9. 20
    Don't Try This At Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Cooks and Chefs by Kimberly Witherspoon (caseydurfee)
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  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 216 mentions

English (203)  Finnish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (207)
Showing 1-5 of 203 (next | show all)
I acquired this book last year for a challenge read that included "a book about food". It got buried in the TBR stack (I read something else for that category) and I only went looking for it when the news of Bourdain's suicide hit the news recently.

Bourdain can masterfully evoke the controlled chaos of a commercial kitchen during meal service, and his "Day in the Life" of a chef is exhausting just to read. But he loses points for his massive ego, his dismissive attitude toward those whom he considers lesser beings, and his incessant name-dropping. He also loses points for this edition's "Afterword", in which he attempts to walk back many of his more outrageous statements. ( )
  LyndaInOregon | Dec 14, 2018 |
Got to start with the fact I'm a Bourdain fan to begin with. I bought this book shortly after I saw an episode of No Reservations that had him along with many others getting evacuated by the USMC. The more I've learned about him, the more I realize there's another message embedded in his writing and speaking. And through his writing you can start to get a hint of that here, even in this tale of the seedy side of the industry. His humor certainly isn't for everybody. But it just might be for you. Give it a shot. ( )
  jons0813 | Oct 27, 2018 |
This was an eye opening look at the restaurant industry when Anthony Bourdain was coming up as a young chef. As everyone knows Bourdain recently took his life. He was a mad genius and his own worst enemy who never said no to a drink, food, or drugs. He was also a life long struggling addict with mental health issues. It's a shame he never received the help he needed. The world lost another funny talented artist to suicide. The book is an unflinching look at the industry he loved as well as himself. My favorite part of the book was when he was interviewing for a job and the owner of the restaurant asked him what do you know about me. Not sure how to answer the question he said absolutely nothing. It was only when he got home that he realized what he had actually been asked was what do you know about meat? Needless to say he didn't get the job. The book is full of funny moments like that. As a passionate supporter of mental health I urge everyone to seek help when they need it. The world lost another shinning star to something that was completely preventable. ( )
  arielfl | Oct 9, 2018 |
This is the third or fourth chef memoir that I have read. There is a certain sameness to their stories. This one was interesting, but it's probably my last. ( )
  fhudnell | Sep 10, 2018 |
Brilliant on HR. ( )
  Mithril | Aug 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 203 (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.

» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anthony Bourdainprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bilardello, RobinCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winston,Courtney GrantCover photo [c]secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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)

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.… (more)

» see all 9 descriptions

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