Monday, October 18, 2010

Carolyn Recently Finished {Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly}:

If I watch TV I tend to focus on Food Network or The Travel Channel, so, naturally, I'm a big fan of Anthony Bourdain & his show: No Reservations {which is available instantly on Netflix btw}. I bought his book, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly for my brother a year or so ago in an effort to incite him to read a bit more & because he's also a Bourdain fan. After he was finished, I grabbed the copy & finally got around to reading it. I actually finished Friday night, but am just getting around to reviewing it.

Now, I have never worked in the food industry in any capacity - it's definitely not my thing & I figured it would make me never want to eat out {not that I ever do, what with being an impoverished graduate student & all} ever again. This concern was validated many times over after finishing a certain chapter or two. I have mixed feelings about the book & I'm sure that if I was or had ever been a cook or dishwasher or waitress in any food establishment I would be all over this - a few people I know who have worked on this inside & read this book rave that it's all true, every last word - not that I had any doubts. The unbelievability was not my issue.

If you watch No Reservations at all you know that Anthony is a rough, tough sort of guy - rock 'n roll if you will. In the book, which I grasped was written over a period of time & probably included many different phases of his life, seems to want to prove his badass-ness. In talking about the drugs, the sex, the vulgarity over & over again, I sort of felt he was trying to say "yah, I'm still bad, I'm still a nonconformist" etc etc. It was...annoying {?} at times.

That was the only downside though. It's a great read -fast, easy, funny. Being from Massachusetts I would love to have heard more tales from his time in Provincetown, New Bedford, etc & his friends from the state too. Those seemed to be like the funnest/funniest times in his journey to chef-hood. Maybe in his next book.

I actually had not realized that he was such an accomplished author. Including this one, Anthony has written or co-written 14 books, cookbooks, travel compilations, crime thrillers, etc. Pretty impressive. I do like his writing style - it's very conversational, without being dumbed down. It's honest.

It's a great read, if you're so inclined. For those of you who have read this do you have a similar/different take the book? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

I'm off on my next read: The Sheltering Sky by Paul far, so good!

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