Monday, March 07, 2005

Keep Your Day Job, Honey

Yes, another book review!

Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain, is a book that you've probably already read, if you're at all into food. So sue me, I'm slow. It's an entertaining, if somewhat rambling, look at the ups and downs of the life of a chef, and how he got that way.

It's a testament, I guess, to Bourdain's claim that the restaurant world is a world of rejects, misfists, thieves, junkies and losers that he was able to survive as long as he did while doing heroin, cocaine, and probably more grass than I've ever mowed. If you've ever seen my lawn, you will not be surprised at this. Admittedly, it wasn't until he cleaned up that his career finally took off, but I don't know many other industries where you could function at all doing that much dope for that long. Maybe I'm just naive.

There is a chapter in there that reads as if his editor said, "Goddamit, you're a chef, writing a book, if you're not going to give us recipes, at least put in some cooking tips already!" that actually has a few useful tips (use a good knife, shallots, maybe some demi-glace and for chrissakes roast your own garlic-- it's not hard, show some respect already), but most of it is biography. Fortunately for you, it's by turns, funny, brash, interesting, and astonishing (mostly astonishing that he got away with that).


Author: Anthony Bourdain
Title: Kitchen Confidential
ISBN: 0060934913
Publisher: Ecco

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