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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (original 2000; edition 2001)

by Anthony Bourdain

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,905193525 (3.9)186
Member:VictoriaNH
Title:Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
Authors:Anthony Bourdain
Info:Harper Perennial (2001), Edition: 1st Ecco Ed, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Discarded
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain (2000)

  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
    Cooking Dirty: A Story of Life, Sex, Love and Death in the Kitchen by Jason Sheehan (erickandow)
  6. 31
    Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell (sbuehrle)
  7. 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.
  8. 20
    Don't Try This At Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Cooks and Chefs by Kimberly Witherspoon (caseydurfee)
  9. 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.
  10. 10
    Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton (MyriadBooks)
  11. 00
    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)
  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 186 mentions

English (190)  Finnish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  All (194)
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
Very good book, especially since I worked in the industry years ago. So many of the stories he tells are similar to many people that work in restaurant field, just with different names or a slightly different twist to them. It is a look into what actually happens behind the scene when you eat out and the timing and choreography that often is required to make everything run smooth. I enjoyed my time in the business and while Tony's book made me recall fondly some of my own memories, he is also very truthful on a number of issues that simply make you want to pull your hair out before jumping off of a bridge. Everyone I know that worked in the field has fond memories but also had nightmares of things going on from time to time. What a crazy business. ( )
  joefreiburger | Jul 3, 2016 |
I was very careful when I ordered certain things at restaurants after reading this account. Very entertaining.
  jkrnomad | Jul 1, 2016 |
The food memoir gold standard. Funny, scary, disturbing, fascinating, and a little educational. I thought I had a pretty hard charging 80's in NYC experience, Pshaw! I am a pissant good girl beside Tony. Long live the king of very good food and very bad behavior. Seriously good shit. I am kicking myself for the many years this collected dust in my TBR pile.
  Narshkite | May 20, 2016 |
Shocking? Kinda. Informative? Kinda. Extremely profane? Definitely.

I don't consider myself prudish, but I just felt a little bit icky after reading this book, like some of the filth and depravity had been just a little too much.

On the positive side, I generally like Bourdain's narrative voice, and he's certainly had some experiences that I could never have imagined.

I do think it's probably an extremely important read for anyone aspiring to be a chef, as Bourdain is very no-holds-barred in his description of the job and the lifestyle it seems to entail.

Also... I just have to say, kudos to his wife. She's rarely mentioned in the book, but knowing she was by his side through this entire thing is pretty amazing. That, maybe more than anything else, definitely impressed me -- although as I said, it was definitely tangential to the book's subject matter. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
One chef's tale of food and the food industry. I didn't want to read the long chapters on why he got into cooking (as a rambunctious kid, he had an oyster) or why other chefs are better than him. I wish there had been more on the food and the industry; those chapters were fascinating. If this book had been less of a memoir, I'd have liked it much more. As it was, I zipped through it with pleasure. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 190 (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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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