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

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
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's review
Feb 05, 10

bookshelves: audiobook-only, read-in-2010
Read in February, 2010

The beginning is really interesting. He talks about his experience with food as a kid, his epiphany (losing his food "virginity" in France to an oyster), his out of control period at college and C.I.A. (not the spy factory, the Culinary Institute of America). It's great again at the end as he speaks about his second epiphany, his trip to Japan. I wanted to hear more about this, but I guess there's a book about that that I will have to read. I liked best the parts where he speaks about his motivations, why he adores food and why he continues with this awful business.

It's kind of boring in the middle when he starts dropping names and places and tries to be instructive to the reader about why one kitchen/chef/restaurant is better than another.

I think you either love or hate Anthony Bourdain. He's a pain in the ass, but he knows it and is unapologetic about it, which is refreshing. He also gives credit where credit is due--also refreshing--and freely admits when he effs up.

Took me a long time, too long, to listen to this... don't have a CD player in the car anymore and I don't enjoy listening at home. I get distracted and can't hear and have to backtrack and it's a waste of time. But Bourdain himself narrated, and his voice and delivery are perfect for the subject.

3.5 stars
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Reading Progress

09/24/2009 page 75
24.04% "Audiobook"
10/17/2009 page 150
48.08% "I may never eat in a restaurant again..."
01/21/2010 page 175
56.09% "Finally started listening to this again... so difficult (no player in the car anymore!!)"
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Grace (new)

Grace Tjan I remember enjoying this book --- I didn't know that running a restaurant is such a hard business. And I was also pretty shocked to learn about the amount of drugs that chefs take in the kitchen. :o

Hayes No kidding... The Mexican restaurant bit was pretty shocking as well. I don't think I'll ever eat in one again!! I suppose you have to take a 'see no evil, hear no evil' attitude when you go out to eat.

Nicole It gets better towards the end? Thank God! Right now I'm in a really boring part where he lists the language used in a kitchen environment and where he's describing what a runner is. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZ

Pawel I actually enjoyed that part too... I'm not a native English speaker, so it gave me reason to expand my vocabulary a bit (as it did with the derogatives ;)

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