My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kitchen Confidential is less a memoir and more a series of essays–each chapter an anecdote about a place, time, or person from Bourdain’s early career as a chef. It’s funny, honest (maybe blunt is a better word), and might put you off eating in a restaurant for a while…but only for a while.
I picked this up after Bourdain died. Is that relevant? I know it affected my reading. The young jerk on his way to CIA is completely unrecognizable to someone who’d only known Bourdain from watching Parts Unknown, maybe a little of the Layover or No Reservations.
If you love digging into strange subcultures, if you like cooking and food, if you have a bent sense of humor (I do), then I highly recommend this. It’s a light read, Bourdain’s style is pleasantly sardonic, and the episodic nature of the book means you can bust out a chapter or so with ease.
I wanted to say more about this. Bourdain meant a lot to me, and a lot of other people. But you know…I don’t think he’d give a shit. I do think he’d want me to go eat some food, something strange I haven’t tried before, from some dubious hole in the wall. I think he’d want you to just open your mind a little.
So…let’s do that.