I loved the book (though I am biased bc I already love Bourdain from his shows). It's a personal look at the culinary world in all of it's chaos and glory.
The recording, however, wasn't so great. I don't know if they tried to fix some old glitches with new recordings (at least that's what it sounds like to me)... and they don't sync up very well. On the plus side, it's not like you're missing whole chunks of the story.
Would still, very much so, recommend this book!
For the first few hours.
Not too much. I think anyone could have narrated this. Anthony really doesn't show much emotion and his tone is pretty much the same throughout.
I love food, great restaurants, reading chef bios, basically anything having to do with food. This book is the same story over and over with very strong language that just gets worse at it goes on. I'm no pansy for sure, but enough was enough! How many time does Bourdain have to describe the same graphic, horrible sex scene as if he enjoys retelling them? This story would have been much better told in at least half the time.
Kelly, Aussie living in Nashville, Employment Specialist, Writer & so on
Learning about the pros and cons of starting your own restaurant
That it was true and narrated by the author
Anthony, fresh out of culinary school, being a smartass, then in the kitchen burning his hand and asking for burn cream and a bandaid, when the big black viking chef had enough and thrust his scarred hands in his face! Priceless!
Laughed many times
I now know not to bother opening my own restaurant and have much more respect for chefs, cooks and restarateurs
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.