The Realities of Being a Chef
I always wondered how Anthony Bourdain got such a great gig, traveling around, getting paid to eat amazing food, and drinking local booze to the point he can’t even remember filming portions. Bourdain is not some iconic celebrity chef with a flagship restaurant that you wait your whole life to visit. What he does have is a distinct narrative voice and experience in a field that’s become trendy and mainstream–food.
Kitchen Confidential is what made Anthony Bourdain famous. If you’ve never picked up a memoir in your life, this will be the memoir that convinces you to start. You might think Bourdain is an irreverent and arrogant prick, but you can’t deny that his sardonic observations aren’t witty or gut-bustingly funny.
Imagine if Naked Lunch was a chef’s memoir. That’s what Kitchen Confidential is like. Bourdain got into cooking because he wanted to be either a pirate or a rock star and he was addicted to novel experiences, food being one and drugs being another, which a career as a chef accommodated.
Bourdain meant his memoir to appeal to those already in the restaurant business, so it is terrifyingly honest about what goes on behind kitchen doors. In his words, “Don’t order fish on Mondays.”