I love Anthony Bourdain's TV shows, and the way he speaks can be truly captivating - honest, rough, and to the point. This book however came off as a bit over the top with the snobbery, painting chefs as the hardest working members of our society. That's OK though - it is interesting to take a look behind the kitchen doors, and see how one of the most failed business ventures in America actually works.
What I really had a hard time with was the recording quality. There was no pause between chapters and it was very difficult to tell when he shifted to a new chapter. I found sometimes the only way to tell was when the subject completely shifted. I also found the quality of the sound would shift frequently, which was very distracting. As engaging of a speaker as Anthony Bourdain is, the majority of the book read in a fairly monotone, bored voice.
The flow of the book also did not feel right - I know the book is about Kitchens, but it felt as though it jumped around frequently, the reader had no real sense of timing in his life, and glossed over important events. I know it isn't a biography, but when you spend the first third of the book talking about how smacked out drugs he was and his addictions, but then suddenly - he was clean. Maybe through sheer willpower, but it felt as though it was very glossed over.
If you love Bourdain - maybe read the book vice listening, or just check out his televison shows. Much better production value.
Great narration by the author, with stories that may at times shock or appall. If you find swearing distasteful, or are prudish and think drug, sex and booze amoral, this books is not for you. Great stories, and insights into the restaurant business, but mostly into this man's life. Highly recommend it.
What an amazing expose of life in restaurant kitchens! Great story telling in Anthony's unmistakable sarcastic, ascerbic style and voice. If you have any curiosity about how top notch restaurant kitchens run, look no further, Anthony explains it here with humor and sometime shocking details. Even if some of the stories are embellished for story-telling (which I am not saying they are) you believe his story because he admits to his mistakes and applies plenty of self-deprecating humor to make sure you know he's a regular guy who happens to be insatiably curious and passionate about food. I know I will relish hearing this one again and again.
Make no mistake, I was not an instantaneous Anthony Bourdain fan the first time I saw him 10 years ago...He is definitely an "acquired taste" not always endearing himself to the audience. He has mellowed over the years and I have truly come to appreciate his talent as an author and entertaining food/travel show host. I would love to experience his cooking and hear more of his stories over drinks at a corner bar.
Say something about yourself!
GOOD INSIGHT IN THE RESTAURANTEUR BUSINESS
THE WAY KITCHENS ARE RUN, MANY STORIES LEADING NOWHERE.
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
fast moving story with lots of drugs, sex, crime and swearing is amusing for a short period of time, but then become tedious and repetitious.
No real plot involved. The basic same story is told over and over again, from restaurant to restaurant. As he notes at the end Anthony Bourdain seems to prefer chaos and dysfunction in his life. I seems like he is churning out the book chapter after chapter simply to make a buck.
The best thing about Kitchen Confidential was having Bourdain do the narration. Now, I'm biased because I love Bourdain, but the book would not have been the same without his delivery. He's also a great writer too. You will also walk away with a better understanding of the drive and passion one must have to succeed in the restaurant business, which makes a lot of other professions look pretty dull by comparison.
As someone that has worked in the restaurant industry, I found myself in stitches at times! Loved his view and stories about working in the underbelly of the beast that is the restaurant biz.
This ranks as one of the best books ever written as a travel and the inner workings of a commercial kitchen. Quite funny in parts. Most enjoyable to listen to Anthony Bourdain. Wonderful soothing voice.
The part where the staff was watching another member of the staff perform with the bride to be.
Peeking in the ktichen.
A truly enjoyable book to be heard many times over.
I picked this up yesterday afternoon and loved every minute. Well worth the cash, I highly recommend his books.