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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000)

by Anthony Bourdain

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,047250709 (3.92)240
A New York City chef who is also a novelist recounts his experiences in the restaurant business, and exposes abuses of power, sexual promiscuity, drug use, and other secrets of life behind kitchen doors.
Recently added byprivate library, plhelmer, lukenat2301, cefreedman, SGuise, randquinn, CaraWatters, PreetiD, chris75
  1. 111
    Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford (Talbin)
  2. 61
    The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten (Ronoc)
  3. 40
    Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain (thebookpile)
  4. 51
    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.
  5. 40
    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. 40
    No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach by Anthony Bourdain (John_Vaughan)
  7. 30
    Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton (MyriadBooks)
  8. 20
    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.
  9. 31
    Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell (sbuehrle)
  10. 20
    Cooking Dirty: A Story of Life, Sex, Love and Death in the Kitchen by Jason Sheehan (erickandow)
  11. 20
    Don't Try This At Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Cooks and Chefs by Kimberly Witherspoon (caseydurfee)
  12. 21
    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 240 mentions

English (246)  Finnish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (251)
Showing 1-5 of 246 (next | show all)
I loved this book. Bourdain seemed to give an honest and entertaining account of his career in the culinary arts. I would recommend this book to anyone whether you're entertaining the thought of entering the restaurant business or not. ( )
  Carmenere | May 31, 2022 |
What a wake up call this book was. I had no idea what happened behind the scenes in a large upscale kitchen. I had no idea how hard the job of a chef is. ( )
  janismack | May 16, 2022 |
Bourdain comes across as a loveable bastard. ( )
  brakketh | May 1, 2022 |
Now this is the cooking memoir I've been wanting to read. I may never feel comfortable eating in a restaurant again, but the stories are excellent and Bourdain has a life well lived. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |

This is pretty great, as someone who mostly forgot about Bourdain until watching Roadrunner. It’s one of those books where the chapters are short but impactful, making it perfect for a commute or short break.

Bourdain is witty, self-aware, and likeable enough even though he recognizes he can be an asshole. He had some bad opinions (who doesn’t) but I have a lot of respect for what he did with his show and how he writes about food. The chapter on Tokyo cuisine was particularly captivating.

I also really like how this updated edition had not just a “where are they now” afterword but also handwritten notes that would touch on stuff he wrote (no one uses demi-glace anymore, etc). In a book that’s just about one’s life experiences while focusing on the culinary industry, really cool to see how he’s changed. Also hilarious to see how one’s memories don’t always shape up in reality.

Definitely worth reading for anyone who’s worked in a restaurant, even (especially?) a shitty one. ( )
  rottweilersmile | Feb 27, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 246 (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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A New York City chef who is also a novelist recounts his experiences in the restaurant business, and exposes abuses of power, sexual promiscuity, drug use, and other secrets of life behind kitchen doors.

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