Right, so you know how I said how I like food? I also like to read about it. I’ve often wondered why I didn’t go to cuilinary school, but I’m pretty sure I would’ve been a horrible line cook. And I’d kind of like to keep enjoying the cooking. Yeah, I don’t think I’m a good fit for the industry kitchen- especially after having worked as a server.
Anyhow. This is a book about the Kitchen. And this is my first book review. Let’s see how this goes, yeah?
Most people know Bourdain through his show in Travel Channel entitled “No Reservations” wherein our fearless leader travels all over the world and eats his brains out while doling out snarky commentary. I happen to be a fan of said show, which is why it’s surprising that it’s taken me this long to read the book that shot him into the spotlight.
Kitchen Confidential is about life in the trenches of a restaurant. Bourdain takes us from his summer job at the shore, though culinary school and into the kitchens of NY restuarants without forgetting to mention the requisite scarring, burning, and drug use that are the perils of chef life. The book is well written and certainly Bourdain has an unique voice. But he’s no one special. He’s not a food pioneer or a chef celebrated for his extraordinary talent or a restaurant mogul- but he’s a damn good executive chef who worked hard to get where he was and who happened to write what became a very popular book. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love some celebrity chefs- Alton Brown is a personal hero. But I have huge amounts of respect for every chef that battles it out every day on the line. It’s a hard life and Bourdain captures it well. He’s not nice to himself and is at times brutally honest about his failings, but he’s charming as hell and has a phenomenal work ethic. You can’t help but like him, really.
I’d say the book gets an A- if I did that grading type thing. Since I don’t know what sort of rubric that’d be based on I’ll just say : go read it.