Patrick's Reviews > Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
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's review
Mar 07, 08

bookshelves: 2008
Read in March, 2008

Halfway through this book I remembered I don't have the slightest bit of interest in the culinary arts whatsoever. Luckily, I was listening to it on audiotape. Unluckily, cassette 4 broke and I had to read the rest with my eyes. I'm not sure why I picked this up, I guess because I heard Bourdain was the "punk rock chef," but besides listening to the Sex Pistols and Velvet Underground while he cooked, there's not a whole lot else going on of a punk rock nature. He was a drug addict, but the book kind of skips right over that, which would have been interesting; I'd rather it had been more of a total autobiography than just a chronicle of his history of the restaurant biz, but once again, it's my fault because that's clearly what the book is labeled as. I wanted dirty stories from the seedy underbelly of the high-class dining world, but it didn't really get much wilder than a bunch of cooks making racist, sexist, homophobic jokes. Dude, that's not exclusive to the culinary world, that's pretty much behind the scenes at any workplace, or really any time you get a lot of misplaced testosterone in one room. You're not leading a "pirate crew," you're supervising people who are following recipes. I rented a dvd from his show "No Reservations" and was again surprised at myself for forgetting I don't really care about exotic foods, and that's a traveling show, which I'm also not into. So now I'm watching like 3 hours of a guy I don't like, eating shit I don't care about, in places I'm not interested in going to. It should be noted that I do like Rachel Ray's "Tasty Travels," but that's another story I don't want to get into. The only really funny anecdote I found was when he was in an interview for chef at a new steakhouse in New York, things were going smoothly until the owner asked him, "What do you know about me?" Bourdain thought it over, not sure what he should say, so he said the truth, "Nothing." So then the guy gives him a weird look, and the interview ends with Bourdain knowing he's not getting the job. He walks a few blocks down the street before he realizes the guy actually asked, "What do you know about MEAT."
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Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Thompson hilarious... except for rachel ray... she should go away and never come back...

message 2: by Dlons (new)

Dlons He definitely beats rachel ray, seriously. I could understand not liking the book if you aren't interested in culinary at all but then I don't know why you would read it.

Katherine "It should be noted that I do like Rachel Ray's "Tasty Travels""
That explains everything about your review.

Patrick Actually, this explains everything about my review:

message 5: by Vic (new) - rated it 3 stars

Vic Yeah, that explains everything.[sarcasm]

You were looking for something of "a punk rock nature"?

Brenden Jones I agree with Kathy. You're entitled to your opinion but I don't see why you picked this up or watched his show since he's a chef. This job title pretty much represents everything you don't care about.

Justin weak sauce review... to 1 star it for those reasons is very petty of you.

Angelo Book definitely doesn't "Skip right over" the drugs. The book has nothing to do with the TV shows he's on. This isn't really a review of a book.

message 9: by Mark (new)

Mark Gallant Really just a dumb review and rating but stuff like that seems to happen with so many reviews I see.

I don't like science fiction so I think I will run out and grab a few sci fi books and give them 1 star. Maybe I can find a sci-fi book with an element of gardening in it so I can give it less then 1 star. That'll show 'em for writing about stuff I don't like!

message 10: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian Haha Mark!! That's great. Yeah this guy made a really dumb review

Lauren It's interesting that you think it skipped right over the drugs... because time after time, I was left with the impression that he did a *lot* of cocaine. And, you know, heroin. He talks about it as much as makes sense for a book that's not directly about addiction.

message 12: by James (new)

James I give this guy's reading selection skills 1 star.

message 13: by Ryan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ryan Vizena Reviewer has apparently never a)finished a book (audio or otherwise) b)never listened to 'Sonic Reducer' while chopping shallots C) is satisfied eating and paying for scraps at brunch D)needs to go back to watching his Bobby FAKE clips on Food Network.

Kaitlin Why would you read a book with a subject that you seem to hate? Seriously, even if you hate the subject you can still judge whether or not the book was well written, but you can't even come away from your hatred of culinary arts enough to judge his writing skills.

You further invalidated your review by claiming it was "not punk enough". It's a book about the culinary world, not a book about the underground music industry.

As if your review hadn't already invalidated itself, you threw out the fact that you liked Rachel Ray's book, but why should I be surprised? You had already vehemently explained that you hate the culinary world.

Craig Hamilton Hallway through Patrick's review I realized he is an idiot.

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