Part autobiography and part expose, the audiobook Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly is a trip through the backdoor of a restaurant kitchen. Anthony Bourdain treats readers to a look behind the scenes at the secrets and real life activities of a chef. This eye-opening book covers all aspects of the business, from lowly dishwashers right on up to crazed chefs and eccentric owners.
Among the stories of his personal experiences, both good and bad, he sprinkles tidbits of useful information for anyone who enjoys a night away from the stove. Seafood is ordered fresh for the weekend, so avoid ordering it on a Monday or Tuesday. Those who order their beef entrees well-done run the risk of receiving a substandard cut of meat since the cooking process will help conceal that fact, thus saving the restaurant money.
He cuts no corners in convincing you that life in a restaurant kitchen is no easy road to riches or fame. Narration by the author gives the audiobook even more appeal with his sardonic wit coming through loud and clear. He takes us through his culinary life process and does not sugar-coat it. If sensitive to talk about sex, drugs and alcohol; this book may not be what you consider enjoyable entertainment. However, if you can handle a walk on the wild-side, and can take the less pleasant realities right alongside your entrée; then this factual look at the culinary world of this popular chef is for you.
The details of how a gourmet meal comes about are given in a fascinating way that keeps your interest. The complex personalities, including Bourdain's, add just the right amount of spice to the story. Critically acclaimed here and overseas, it was preceded by his successful New Yorker article, "Don't Eat Before Reading This". Born in New York City in 1956, he spent much of his childhood in New Jersey. On a family trip to his grandparents homeland of France; Bourdain discovered oysters, and a culinary obsession was born. While at Vassar and working in a restaurant in Massachusetts, he decided to become a chef. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978 he worked at various restaurants throughout New York City. He has a very successful television career hosting a number of cooking shows for different networks. To experience the life of this controversial and charismatic chef, in his own words, download Kitchen Confidential.
"I am biased because I was already a huge fan of Bourdain before I began reading this book. The book is good (and I think he would appreciate that word), really good, but it is even better if you can keep his voice in mind as you read. Reading with his voice, emphasizes the explanations, descriptions, situations, sarcasm and wit."
Kelly (5 out of 5 stars)