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on December 10, 2016
GREAT book! I couldn't put it down. Having been in food service most of my life, I'm only 26yrs old and feel like I've already been exposed to it all. After reading this...not even close. Anthony never goes far beyond the truth of spending his time in a kitchen. Explaining each and every detail about his experiences from culinary school all the way to executive chef running his own restaurant. There's definitely some evil out there, but also many rewards. He tells it how it is. There's plenty of spoilers in this book including talk about what kinds of knives to use, kitchen equipment and about how to improve upon your own skills as a chef, restaurant employee or even an owner. However, this is really a story--not business for dummies. He's done a great job here.
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on June 8, 2018
I guess God needed good chef for his kitchen today. Rest in peace, Anthony.
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on May 28, 2016
Some years ago I had an interest in a restaurant along with two other partners. I also had a French family background with a deep appreciation of fine cuisine. I also have dined at Les Halles, his famous restaurant in New York. My partnership was to be "silent", that is, just kick in your share of the money and go away. In the first week of operation I was tapped to do dishes because the washer didn't show, wait tables for a similar reason etc. etc. For weeks we struggled to bring order and routine to the restaurant. So, the trap was well set. Fortunately, I was eventually able to sell back my share and jump clear of the unfolding disaster, but I wish I had read Anthony Bourdain's book first. All the best kept secrets of the restaurant business are revealed in this terrific book.

Everything he says about the business is spot-on and, once you read his book, which is written in the coarse language of a professional kitchen which adds color and authenticity, you will never look at a menu or see a restaurant the same way again.

I liked the muscular way he writes about food and I fully share his view that prissy concoctions of food with way too many ingredients that only stroke a chef's vanity have nothing to do with first class cooking. As he rightly points out, great cooking, as always, involves only the finest and freshest ingredients presented to their greatest advantage where less is more. As any artist will tell you, if you mix up all the colors of the pallet, the result will always be a muddy black.

The very best chapter, however, is about his going to Japan for the first time and seeing the famous Tokyo fish market which I remember seeing in the 1970's and feeling exactly the same way about. I also remember my first visit to Japan as the same hallucinatory experience which delighted every sense especially the quirky drinking habits of "salary men" or office workers after the day's work is done.

I suggest that you read the book and then visit his great restaurants...or the other way around. Both are a worthwhile experience.
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VINE VOICEon June 5, 2018
“Kitchen Confidential" is the book that made Anthony Bourdain and, after two decades, it holds up extremely well. Bourdian offers insights on what happens in the kitchen and what drove him to become a chef. He presents am engaging and sometimes funny look at his early experiences with restaurants, their owners, staffs and even takes readers behind the scenes with his own life. This is a very different Bourdian than the one who pops up on CNN these days, far less mature and worldly and more profane. Regardless, fans will appreciate “Kitchen Confidential” and Bourdian’s writing--easily one of the strengths that has kept him on TV for most of the last decade and a half--helps move readers along and offers a memorable impression. Highly recommended.
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on June 8, 2018
R.I.P. Anthony Bourdain- You have passed over, leaving this mortal coil, with all its imperfections and all of its heady smells, swoon-worthy flavors, and always welcoming cultures to which you were our empathetic, cheerfully vulgar ambassador, our creative and beautiful embodiment of the common, but simply perfect meal, our brother in food and drink and full fledged fleshy pleasures... and saying yout full name each time as a prayer to the culinary gods, reflects that: you joins them now in that pantheon, as the head god of cuisine and earthly pleasures...each dish made & each bite taken a worthy tribute to such a beautiful eternal soul.
Thank you for all the you gave us, all the culture you brought us, and all the meals you introduced us to. I wish you had stayed with us longer.
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on February 10, 2018
I very much like this book. It is fifteen years old now but still holds up well. Bourdain is better in print than on the TV because he has more room to stretch out his thoughts both philosophically and critically. He's a very fine memoirist. Cooking, apparently, was just his day job for many years while he honed his writing skill. I find the book authentic and stimulating. My job entails a lot of reading and writing, so I don't get to do as much pleasure reading as I like to, but even so, I cannot put this book down.
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on February 16, 2018
This was my bible during culinary school, back when I went in 2004. I still carry my original, grease splattered, copy (now missing half the cover) in my bag in case I need some inspiration/motivation. I regularly buy this book for of my promising cooks.

Note: The last copy I bought was a gift for my Lead, and it was all updated with a new intro, and nice cover. Had to pick up the revised edition for my book shelf, but I still like my original copy better though.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 1, 2015
Wickedly funny. Anthony is a great chef that doesn't give a F! His insightful view of the real life in a kitchen is hilarious.
If you're a chef or work in a kitchen or have ever wondered what it's like to be I'm a kitchen this is the book for you. From his ups and downs and drug use to stardom this is a great read. Now a world known celebrity Anthony still tries to be less of a star but more of a chef or describe food from a chef point of view not what people want to hear
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on June 11, 2018
Anthony Bourdain tells us early in the book that he is going to tell the truth - and he does. The good, the bad and the beautiful. It was poignant to read this the day he died by suicide. I felt like I had him here in my room as he talked to me. He writes the same way that he talks, so it is easy to hear his voice in your ear as you read. If you have ever worked in restaurants, as I have, you will recognize a lot of what he talks about. But some of it is just Bourdain's restaurants. He tends to gather his crews from a pool of sociopaths, junkies, inveterate alcoholics and just marginally sane people. They are never late, never call in sick and are loyal to him to the end. I learned about lots of wonderful food I had never tasted. I was constantly looking up these exotic items in the dictionary. He teaches as he tells his story. What's not to like about this book?
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on June 14, 2018
I ordered his books immediately and started reading 2 days after he killed himself.
It has been quite a journey these last days, reading the book, global reactions about the news, about his cremation yesterday... it's final, and so sad.

I KNOW that if he had had a split second more to change things around he would have! He loved so many things worthwhile living for. His families, food, himself, too.

I still don't understand why he was the guy he became. Don't get me wrong. I was hooked, too, read non-stop. But I wanted more than just descriptions of kitchens and foods which will keep me busy for a long time to dig deeper into. Just the history of restaurants, chefs and all the changes in NYC! But: beyond all the dude stories, male could he ever become a #metoo activist? Really strange. Wasn't he part of that, male and female discrimination/abuses?

He describes himself as so tough all the time. Where is his spirit, soul, emotional status? He never addresses emotional relationships with men or women, his parents, family. Just that tough talk about male relationships with somewhat severe homosexual overtones. He talks about everything else without boundaries and never runs into limitations of expression, but never ever gets to the core of who he really is. I can't wait to read books written from significant others, e.g. his wives, partners he loved, male or female. I think he was hiding in the kitchen. I understand fully, because there is reasons why we are afraid of people. Human behavior remains a mystery to me, he says (p.312).

He needed a very strict structure in life, an occupation with repetitive movements and thoughts. Otherwise, there was a deep ocean of insecurities and the unknown of Self. Drugs, kitchens, sex, overworking, exhaustion. They don't make it easier to live with oneself if you are such a deeply troubled individual. I was mad at him for all these days because we all loved him so much for all kind of reasons. I am at peace now because I think that he was extremely lucky to have lasted THIS long. And we were lucky, too. But, in the end, it was all fun, as he keeps saying, he made money, and that was the best he could do. Not so bad, Mr. Bourdain, and far more than many of us will ever accomplish. I am not sad anymore and feel rather Irish. Maybe I should take one of these genetic ancestry tests... No. Thanks, Tony, the ride was a good one!
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