Saturday, August 19, 2006
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
In this funny book you get an extraordinary look into what really goes on in the professional kitchens around USA, mostly New York. The author is the present chef of the New York-restaurant Les Halles, and he tells you everything. From his beginning in humble and small restaurants and cafés to the present day as chef in a famous restaurant. There are gross details in this book, making you think twice about ever eating out again, and sometimes it is hard to believe that this is the truth. Does the fine and elegant food really come from the hands of tattooed and dirty scumbags, fighting and drinking out back or does the author exaggerate a bit here and there? I don't know, but the book and the writing definitely has an honest feel to it, and it is possible that is really is like this. We follow the chef's ups and downs through his cooking and private life, but mostly through his cooking life. We learn about what it is like to work in a greasy café as well as in a huge establishment, and we also get a good look into the business side of running a restaurant as well as some great tips, like not ordering fish in a restaurant during the weekend, and I am also thinking twice about the whole brunch-concept after having read the book, brunch being a mix of a whole week's leftovers. The book is well written, and the language is never too much, even though it may seem brutal and brutally honest in some passages.