Kitchen Confidential review

January 13, 2015

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary UnderbellyKitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have absolutely no interest in the culinary world and I am not a foodie. I’m slightly more adventurous than average when it comes to to food.

This is Chef Bourdain’s collection of stories of his life in the restaurant biz. It was a fun read, if a little heavy on the rotten language and filth. I enjoyed his journey from a picky eater to a top-tier chef. I loved reading about his typical day and his affectionate stories about his staff. I’d have rather had the chapter with the vocabulary moved to the front, so I wouldn’t have had to waste my time looking it all up as I read through the first half of the book. The chapter on his trip to Japan was enjoyable, as it circled back nicely to him being out of his element. And the chapter on how Scott Bryan’s kitchen disproved all of Bourdain’s rules was very entertaining.

I would have rated Kitchen Confidential a 4-star book, but unfortunately our narrator is a really unlikable jerk. Just because he feels at home in a kitchen with constant yelling, cursing, and sexual harassment/banter doesn’t mean it makes it right for him to run his own kitchen in that way. He acknowledges that the environment would be tough on women, but oh well. They just need to be tough. That’s pretty uncool. But a lot has changed since 2000, and I hold the hope that Chef Bourdain has too.

This is the 42nd book I read in 2014. View all my reviews on Goodreads!

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