Saturday, December 12, 2009

Review of Kitchen Confidential

This was the latest read for my book club, and while it didn't spur any especially intellectual conversations, it was fun to talk about, because it's a fun book. Kitchen Confidential is a sort of memoir by Anthony Bourdain, a famous NYC chef, who describes the ins and outs of his life in professional kitchens. I've always known that working in restaurants is kind of like an extension of college -- drugs, heirarchy, gossip, cattiness, sex, and general debauchery -- but reading about some of the antics in Anthony Bourdain's life really seared the images into my brain (pun intended).

There are some useful lessons to be learned about food consumption by reading this book that are fairly obvious when you think about them, but good to reiterate nonetheless:

- Don't order seafood on Mondays
- Don't eat mussels unless you really trust the establishment
- Never eat hollandaise sauce unless you make it yourself
- (and while not a food-to-avoid), it's more than likely that someone had sex on the sacks of rice or flour somewhere in a walk-in storage unit.

Bourdain is a pretty good writer in terms of getting his story and the images associated with it across. His voice is strong, and he has a good sense of humor that made me laugh out loud at times. However, I got the sense that he writes how he talks, and his use of exessive italacs got really annoying by the end of the book.

Overall, this is a fun read for anyone who likes food and is interested in learning more about what it takes to prepare your meal when you go out to dinner.


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