Book: ★ ★ ½
Narration: ★ ★ ★ ½
I love watching Bourdain's TV shows. I especially love it when he's a judge on Top Chef. I also love to read when he blogs about the show too. For some reason though, his books end up being sort of mediocre. I only got through half of Kitchen Confidential before I gave up and moved onto something else. I keep telling myself I'll come back to it someday, but I'm really not sure I will. I ended up listening to this book on audio, and I think that might be the way to go when it comes to this type of book. At least, for me.
Bourdain is funny, crude, and tells it like it is, although at times some of the insider stories get a bit boring when you don't know the people or restaurants he's talking about. I found myself at times spacing out on chapters where he talked about notable chefs that I had never heard of. I guess this is to be expected since I've never have or never will be in the food industry. I watch a lot of foodie TV though, so I knew who Eric Ripert, Wylie Dufresne, and Thomas Keller where. He spends a whole chapter on a food critic that I had never even heard of though. And then he also gets the reader caught up on people from Kitchen Confidential, which I hadn't finished and had no idea who he was referring to, but that's my fault I suppose.
I particularly loved the sections where he talked about The Food Network and Top Chef. I really enjoyed his descriptions of his meeting with Sandra Lee, or "the Hell Spawn of Betty Crocker and Kathie Lee," as he's referred to her. I'm not sure how comfortable I am about him apologizing for ripping apart Rachel Ray and others, because I enjoy his surliness. I guess that once you reach a certain age, and after you have a kid, you lose a bit of that anger.
I'm glad he narrated this book; it was a good listen, albeit boring in parts, but definitely worth the time.