Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain

Posted by lea at 11:20 AM
Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly is a rivetting read because it covers a lot of ground: Bourdain's personal journey through drug-addiction to maturation as a chef, his love and obvious passion for food, and the ugly yet strangely charming (in a very crass way) unseen machinations behind the industry of fine dining. And to top it all off, it's written with wit, warmth and honesty that you can't help but appreciate.

He describes his cohorts in the kitchen - those who deliver dishes of utmost perfection - endearingly as:
wacked-out moral degenerates, dope fiends, refugees, a thuggish assortment of drunks, sneak thieves, sluts, and psychopaths.

He obviously loves them, loves his job, loves food and is passionate about the industry - and all of that really comes through. Although I started without even the slightest interest in the New York fine dining scene (the book was a gift), Kitchen Confidential gave me a real appreciation for the passion, talent and dedication of those involved in the craft. There's nothing more enjoyable than having a whole world opened up for you by someone who knows all its ins and outs and who can write - absorbingly, engagingly - about it all.

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