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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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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
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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The first time I read 'Kitchen Confidential,' I was a student at my alma mater, learning Culinary Arts to become a chef. At first read, I was intrigued, shocked, and in wonderment all at the same time. Bourdain's vivid and colorful details of his culinary adventures and misadventures scared me a bit. It made me slightly wonder if I truly knew of the potential fallout that could come from a career in this field. In addition, even though I believed him to be truthful, I also thought he was perhaps exaggerating a bit on some of the debauched and seemingly unreal goings on in the kitchens he had worked in.

Now, after having been a chef myself, having worked in multiple kitchens of all caliber in all four coasts of the United States, having worked with multitudes of kitchen associates and many other chefs, I know first hand of Bourdain's perspective and insight. I can tell you with certainty that it's all true. Yes, all true: every sordid, scandalous, wonderful, funny, creative, and amazing bit of it. This book is the culinary life. It's the life we chose, the life we love, and it's also the life that leaves us with literal and figurative scars that will never heal. We love the kitchen and although it loves us back, it also instilled in us some painful, loaded, duplicitous lessons. Lessons which I myself is still finding useful to this day.

After learning of Bourdain's shocking suicide three weeks ago on June 8th, I decided to get a new copy of 'Kitchen Confidential.' It had been some fifteen years since I last read it, and I wanted to remember him for the wonderful voice he gave to us certifiable crazy kitchen warriors and culinary ninjas. Us warriors who love food, and us ninjas who have accepted our punishing, culinary fates. I also decided to read it again because I had the pleasure of meeting Anthony Bourdain twice in my life - on the second occasion, I had the honor of cooking for him. Both times, he was as funny, charming, and brilliant as many know him to be from his culinary travel TV shows. Reading the book this second time around made me remember and reminisce how wonderful both of my encounters with him had been.

If you're a chef, or a culinary student, I have a feeling I don't need to convince you to buy and read this book. Bourdain's account of his time in the kitchen is our reality, and you know it first hand so you'll relate. If you're a "foodie" (I truly despise this word) or someone who genuinely admires the art of culinary, you'll get a kick out of this book, because you'll feel the sweat, blood, and tears we suffer to creatively feed you and the masses. If you're an ordinary person who simply eats to live, or perhaps you once caught an episode of one of Anthony Bourdain's four television shows over the years, but you don’t really see the reason for all the fuss, you need this book more than anyone else. Unless you're squeamish, a prude, snobbish, or a pretentious person, you'll love 'Kitchen Confidential.' If you are indeed within the third category of people I described, and you open your mind, I guarantee you that you'll fall in love with Anthony Bourdain like we all have and see what all the fuss is that we keep lamenting about.

Needless to say, I highly recommend this book. Read it once, read it twice, read it multiple times. You'll be wiser for it. Yes of course, some of the details such as the use of Fax machines to send resumes, the food ordering processes, hiring practices, food safety guidelines, and a couple other things are outdated and no longer relevant by today's Culinary Arts standards. Nevertheless, what remains, remains valid and rings true to this day. This memoir is a solid one. 5-Stars.
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on January 4, 2017
I have worked in the restaurant industry my entire life, and I have to say that even if you've only waited tables for a month, or never worked in the industry at all, this is a must read. When people go out to dinner, they have a pleasant time, or they don't. They like their waiter, or they don't. They have strong opinions on the food, the smells, the décor, or they don't. Regardless of peoples experience in a dining room, there is a circus act going on continuously long before these people ever arrived, and it was in full effect when their order was placed, and it will continue after they have paid their bill and left. If you've ever wondered what the circus in the back of the house is like, then pick up this book.
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on February 24, 2018
Kitchen Confidential is an edgy look into some of the scariest kitchens in America. It is also a glimpse of punk rock cooking, drugs, and slave like efforts the public never knew existed. I enjoy cooking simple dishes and exploring new foods. I am by no means a trained chef. There are some great basic cooking tips along with warnings of what not to order... Hollandase sauce at the brunch buffet 🤢. Anthony Bourdaine, to me, comes across as an arrogant New Yorker. However, he has put in his dues and obviously made a successful career through hard work and talent. He shares what he learned and funny stories of the odd characters who shaped his career. I do get a strong sense of Hunter S. Thompson and Mr. Bourdaine's affinity for the counter culture. I found the book an easy page turner. It is fun, witty, and serious about how to make it in the back of the house.
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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 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 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.

I revise now because Mr. Anthony Bourdain has left this world. Simply on the basis of enjoying this book and A.B.'s TV show NO RESERVATIONS (never saw the other TV shows), I feel very sad that he is gone, in much the same way I continue to grieve the loss of John Lennon, Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and other artists who died before I had a chance to learn all I could from them. Anthony Bourdain was an original talent.
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