Book Reviews: Kitchen Confidential


Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

I honestly read the book before I knew he had a travel TV show on the travel channel. I read it cover to cover as it engaged me in a way I didn’t know a food book could. It felt as if he was giving me the inside scoop to New York City dining and I was thankful just to listen in to his secrets. He gives great maxims like don’t order the fish on Mondays and which stew is likely leftovers from the previous week.

A couple takeaways have stuck with me over a decade after reading it. I always suspect the bread brought to the table. If it’s warm, it’s generally ok. If it seems like a potpourri of bread samples, then there is no telling how many people have handled it. I also have a habit of checking out the Chef’s special. At higher end places, this is supposedly the Chef putting his or her heart and soul into something and much focus will be spent on the dish that night.

I also remember the story of his old boss who had some superpower and could summon people to repair anything he needed at 3 am. Bourdain makes New York City’s dining scene look like a cut throat business.  Only the most dedicated apprentices should apply.

Recently I watched The Big Short which you can read on another blog post. Anthony Bourdain made a cameo to explain the similarities between CDOs and left over halibut to make a soup. The only difference between the two, I would guess, is that left over halibut will only wreck you stomach.

It was funny seeing him in a Chef outfit knowing that he hasn’t been one in many years. He still writes about the industry, but wonder who today could write a book of the restaurant industry in 2016.

Book Rating: 8/10

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