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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  169,468 Ratings  ·  9,025 Reviews
A deliciously funny, delectably shocking banquet of wild-but-true tales of life in the culinary trade from Chef Anthony Bourdain, laying out his more than a quarter-century of drugs, sex, and haute cuisine—now with all-new, never-before-published material.

New York Chef Tony Bourdain gives away secrets of the trade in his wickedly funny, inspiring memoir/expose. Kitchen Con
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Kindle Edition, 321 pages
Published December 10th 2008 (first published 2000)
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Roxane
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, vivid read about life in restaurant kitchens. Very atmospheric and I feel like I learned a lot about a very specific culture.
Jacob
Mar 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Foodies, counterculture cultists, sexdrugandrockandroll types
My first exposure to Anthony Bourdain, via his show No Reservations, left me with with the sense of a true asshole who sneered down his nose with aging punk-rock disdain at people and things he deemed beneath him, and, honestly, it seemed like most people and things were beneath him. For some reason, even though he crossed my Southern sensibilities and turned me off to him on that first exposure, I kept watching the show and realized that there is a lot more to him than that first impression sug ...more
Ratscats
Jul 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the hungry and the horny
Recommended to Ratscats by: my libido
I love food and I love hot sexy chefs with potty mouths.
I remember first discovering Anthony Bourdain on the Food Network many years ago. It was 3am and I was unable to sleep and here was this brooding, hot piece of ass chain smoking and touring Russia.
I never remembered his name but he haunted my dreams until I re-discovered him years later on the Travel Channel show, No Reservations.
In Kitchen Confidential, he is able to translate his sultry self onto paper.
But he is not just a piece of mea
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Matthew
Maybe 3.5 stars, sometimes 4. It has lots of interesting anecdotes, but it was somewhat repetitive at parts. While interesting for the non-culinary inclined, I think it would be better received by someone with a kitchen background or a person who has worked in food and beverage.

Some parts of this book talk about fantastic food and will leave you drooling. As a result, you will want to hop the next flight and travel the world visiting as many restaurants and trying as many types of food as you ca
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Darwin8u
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
“Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.”
― Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential

description

There is a certain thrill to being the first person to reach the top of a mountain, the first to eat at a soon-to-be famous restaurant, the first to discover an author, a band, a new food or experience. Well friend, the thrill of a late discovery (even when you are 15 years late to the party) is still pretty damn sweet. I might have seen Bourdain's books as I wandered through a bookstore. I might have
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Skyler Autumn
5 Stars

Kitchen Confidential is one of those books that grips you from page one. Anthony Bourdain has comprise a selection of personal essays about his life specifically in regards to his journey with the strenuous and punishing life of a Chef de Cuisine.

Anthony Bourdain (R.I.P) was such a talented writer; his passion and enthusiasm for food and his environment was so palpable that at times I felt like I too was trudging alongside him in the kitchen. This book is broken into numerous chapters
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Tatiana
Sep 06, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all interested in food and culinary business
Shelves: 2010, non-fiction
If you are like me and love food, watching Top Chef and Food Channel, think that cooking is art, an outlet for creativity, consider chefs featured on such shows (including Anthony Bourdain) as super-sophisticated artists, you are up for a surprise with this book.

Bourdain definitely crushes all preconceived notions we might have about the industry. You remember those foul-mouthed, unkempt, ever-fired-and-hired kitchen workers with shifty pasts you've come across at some points in your life? I th
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Malia
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
What follows is my summary of this book. Blah, blah, blah I'm an asshole blah, blah, blah yay, drugs blah, blah, fuck everyone, pork chop, fuck you all, mince, veal, drugs, blood, blah, blah, blah.
Maybe you can tell, I am less than impressed. What I ultimately took away from this is that Bourdain would not like me (I'm a vegetarian, for one!) and I would not like him. I don't feel too bad writing this review, because Bourdain certainly never minces his words (culinary pun intended;-) I was expec
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Patrick
Feb 08, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 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 ...more
Diane
Aug 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs, food, audiobooks
I reread Kitchen Confidential in memory of Anthony Bourdain. I still can't believe he's gone.

I enjoyed the book and smiled at Anthony's brash-yet-loveable style. Plus, it reminded me of my baby brother, who is also a chef.

Highly recommended for restaurant workers and foodie fans.
Sydney
Jul 17, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book's author is clearly impressed with having passed through the esteemed halls of Vassar College, yet prouder still of his hard knocks and rough-and-tumble street degree earned working for a slew of restaurants. Much of the book is spent describing the working stiffs in the culinary field and their wildly anti-social and anti-establishment behavior and greedy incompetent restaurant owners. The anecdotes were mildly amusing for the first hundred pages but tiresome by the end. If you're stuc ...more
Kate Quinn
May 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to know how to classify "Kitchen Confidential." Memoir? Expose? Humor? Its author Anthony Bourdain is easier to pin down: the hard-drinking, hard-swearing, hard-living executive chef of a New York restaurant who can't write a sentence without being funny, poignant, or offensive, often simultaneously. Bourdain's book ranges freely over his French childhood where he first got obsessed with food, his time at fry-shacks, grill bars, and the Culinary Institute of America which variously tau ...more
Patricia
Jul 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Advanced warning: I tend to take on the vernacular of whomever I'm reading, so now might be a good time to mention that Anthony Bourdain has a very colorful ... er ... style.

So, I've finished reading Anthony Bourdain's book Kitchen Confidential, which is basically about all the craziness that goes on behind the scenes in the restaurant world. As I started reading the book, I thought I'd be of one of two minds by the end: either I'd never want to eat out again, or I'd want to chuck the teaching
...more
Madeline
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
"No, I want to tell you about the dark recesses of the restaurant underbelly - a subculture whose centuries-old militaristic hierarchy and ethos of 'rum, buggery and the lash' make for a mix of unwavering order and nerve-shattering chaos - because I find it all quite comfortable, like a nice warm bath. I can move around easily in this life. I speak the language. In the small, incestuous community of chefs and cooks in New York City, I know the people, and in my kitchen, I know how to behave (as ...more
Pat
Ho consumato un barattolo di bicarbonato per arrivare alla fine (era una lettura condivisa, altrimenti avrei lasciato). E confesso, quando mi saliva lo schifo, qualche pagina l’ho saltata. Non ho uno stomaco così forte per reggere certi particolari.
Non ho colto l’utilità e nemmeno il senso di alcune descrizioni di Bourdain, cito come esempi lo sperma sulle scarpe del suo aiutante Steven, e le scopate di Steven-versione-porno con Chuletita loca, mentre, fra un grugnito e un asmatico quasi-orgasm
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Vonia
Oh, Anthony Bourdain... How I love you! I have no idea why it took me so long to read his very first memoir. Amazing, hilarious, witty, educational, enlightening, entertaining, intriguing, original, honest... This should be mandatory reading for every first year CIA student. For anyone unfamiliar with this use, that is The Culinary Institutes Of America, Bourdain's Alma Mater, not The Central Intelligence Agency. Of course, (Fortunately? Unfortunately?, although I was not in the industry long en ...more
Sara
I enjoyed this book by Mr. Bourdain. I like his attitude.

This is an entirely different world from what I live in. I've never worked in the food service industry, is it still like this nowadays? A world where you can never be sued for sexual harassment and foul language? I have a boring office job and this is so foreign to me.

Because this is so far removed from my own experiences of the world - heck, I've never even been to New York and seldom eat at fancy restaurants - I liked it. It was fun. An
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Gabrielle
I am ashamed to say I knew very little about Anthony Bourdain before he died. I knew he was a celebrity chef, with a pile of published books, TV shows and a reputation for being abrasive, but not much else. After reading this, I regret not paying more attention when I could, because I found Mr. Bourdain to be an incredibly passionate, well-read, deeply articulate, hysterically funny and brutally honest human being. It is creepy to think I could have crushed on him super hard was he still around? ...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
I almost feel the need to have to bring back my "3 stars is not a bad rating" disclaimer, since I've had a bizarrely rare couple of weeks with several 4 star rated books in my lineup. Well here we are again, settling back into the "3 star is the standard" normalcy of my world.

Kitchen Confidential was an entertaining read. The main reason why I couldn't swing a 4 is only because I think I'd expected there to be more "trade secrets" about the restaurant industry than there really were. I'd half ex
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Marija
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First time I heard of Anthony Bourdain was on some TV show. He seemed like a cool guy, but I didn’t think of him as a chef. He seemed to be nothing but a TV presenter who travels around the world. I didn’t think that he really mattered much in the culinary world. Most of the chefs that we see on TV either cook or get other people judged on ability to cook and/or perform in the kitchens.
Anthony Bourdain wasn’t doing anything of that. He was simply enjoying food…in some unique way.
Not long ago I
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7jane
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good read, although I need a reread to give a full review. Bought recently a new copy for myself, with new sidenotes and the afterthoughts to be read, which gives another reread reason. :)
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenny (Reading Envy) by: Andy/Troy/Tad/Dennis - I won't forget!
How could I have never reviewed this book? I read this at a key turning point in my life, and was one of those books that changed everything for me. I was 22. I had gotten married and gone directly to graduate school right after graduating with a BA in music, with a full ride and graduate assistantship in the School of Folklore at Indiana University. It wasn't a good fit for me. By the time I enrolled in the fieldwork class, I knew I was probably on my way out, and got permission to do my fieldw ...more
Jennifer
Anthony Bourdain is very much the punk rock rebel of celebrity chefs. The chef who isn't afraid to refer to Emeril as an Ewok, and poke fun of culinary-school trained cooks, when at the same time, he is a celebrity chef, and a culinary school graduate. He knows this, and it's not a problem for him.

Kitchen Confidential is part memoir, part how-to, and mostly about sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. It's basically a history of Anthony's obsession with food and drugs from his days as a young boy, until he
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Michael
May 02, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If I was interested in becoming a chef would I have liked this book more?

If I liked Anthony Bourdain would I have liked this book more?

Hard to say, but I think the answer to the first question might be "Maybe, but doubtful" and the answer to the second question is, "Probably not".

I thought the beginning of Kitchen Confidential was interesting but I don't need anyone advising me not to eat in restaurants with dirty bathrooms or to treat servers with respect. It was this blow-the-lid-off-the-resta
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Hayes
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 motiva ...more
Naksed
Oct 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: celebrities, memoirs
Sometimes mouth-watering, other times nauseating, and at all times 100% candid, Anthony Bourdain's memoirs of the underbelly of the culinary world might very well turn you off completely from ever eating out again, even as it celebrates the life-affirming, glorious, and sensual nature of food in our lives.

Bourdain is not just a celebrity who ghost wrote a bestseller. He is a true writer who happens to write about food. His flamboyant, rich style may not sit lightly on every reader's stomach and
...more
fortuna.spinning
2017: My first audiobook ever! I enjoyed the heck out of it. This was a reread and I was quickly reminded why I loved it so much when I read it 7 years ago. Listening to Bourdain narrate was a treat!


2010: If you're an Anthony Bourdain fan then definitely read this book! It's interesting, funny, crazy, crude ... and very well-written. AND ... it was actually published before he started doing his show "No Reservations" on Travel Channel (a fabulous show if you've never seen it). Bourdain writes t
...more
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
Smashing book and great to see where and how Anthony got his start. It is a little repetitive as he goes from restaurant to restaurant learning his trade but the characters he meets along the way and just hearing his voice in my head as I read made it worthwhile and a good time.
Jeanette
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the information about the nitty-gritty of restaurant cook station life, how hard and physical that life truly is. It was for me a 3 star read, but rounded to four for the realistic nature of the reveals. Which, I know, are still fairly accurate.

Bourdain in print is exactly as Bourdain in travels, or in audio/tv media work. He's the same anti-establishment let's all tramp along to the lowest common denominator factor (drugs, liquor, any form of low life crudity possible) in friendship an
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Featured Notes & Highlights

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Bookworm Bitches : September 2018: Kitchen Confidential 2 35 Sep 18, 2018 01:14PM  
Around the Year i...: Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain 3 34 Jan 08, 2017 01:44AM  
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Anthony Bourdain was the author of the novels Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo, in addition to the mega-bestsellers Kitchen Confidential and A Cook’s Tour.

His work has appeared in The New York Times and The New Yorker, and he was a contributing authority for Food Arts magazine. He was the host of the popular Emmy and Peabody Award winning television show Parts Unknown.

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“your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.” 539 likes
“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria's mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.” 287 likes
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