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Customer Reviews

Kitchen Confidential : Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
by Anthony Bourdain

The following are random samples of reviews by customers

Loved it! August 14, 2000
Reviewer: A reader from Burbank, CA USA
I borrowed this book from a friend who loved it and so did I. Of course, you need to actually POSSESS a sense of humor to enjoy it. I especially loved the chapter about his entire day. Anthony writes from the hip. He tells it like it happened. It's HIS story. I applaud his culinary efforts and I learned things from this book. I was in the kitchen with him when the shipment was late. I could see the sweat dripping from his brow during the dinner rush. I was at that table in Japan watching him drown himself in sushi. Anyone that can transport a reader across an ocean has done something truly reat. However, he did not make me want to be a professional cook, and I'd never want to marry the guy, but it was an enjoyable, frenzied ride. Sure he's arrogant and cocky, but he's got cohones. That's so refreshing in these times of nauseating political correctness. Lighten up, people!!

P.S. Everyone who lambasted Anthony for his few typos better take
another look their own reviews before they open their big mouths again.

Reality does bite-sometimes it bites hard, August
13, 2000
Reviewer: Michael McCullen from Columbia, SC United States
As a working professional chef, and a CIA graduate, I thouroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. Yes, he dwells too much on his and others drug habits, but they are a very real part of the business, day in and day out. I howled out loud with laughter at some parts of the book, and nodded my head at others, knowing exactly what he was trying to say, even if it was directed only to those of us who have made the restaurant business our life. I sent this book to my mom and dad with a note stating that this is what my life has been like, only without the heroin and cocaine. The stress, the burns and cuts, the mentality of cooks digging in for the siege at Khe Sahn, they are all very real, and not just in New York.


I hated to finish this book., August 14, 2000
Reviewer: Holly Smith from Vero Beach, FL USA
Tony Bourdain was so delightful on the TODAY show that I ordered KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL the very day I saw him. I ate up every page, laughing aloud throughout. From his early travels in France, through the CIA, Provincetown, and finally to his semi-grownup New York experience, he describes the life of the kitchen gypsy with tongue firmly in cheek. And from now on I'll only eat out on Tuesdays.


Want to visit the places in the book, August 14,2000
Reviewer: pauld2000@aol.com from Langhorne, PA
I read the book on a long flight and enjoyed it. He is colorful writer and person. I would like a companion book and map with all the places he discusses in the book - you'll feel the same way.

Just Not Enough Seasoning, August 15, 2000
Reviewer: Chad Spivak (see more about me) from North Miami Beach, Florida
Anthony Bourdain definately could have used an editor in completing this book. I was surprised by the typos, and overall organization of the book.

Kitchen Confidential is not a tell-all book about the behind-closed-kitchen-doors business, but more of a personal life story about the author. In the book, we find out about his raw oyster-eating youth, and his dabbling with drugs later on. He did lead an interesting life, and his climb to his prestigious status as a top chef is well documented. But, there is very little else.

He uses a lot of cooking terms that I truly didn't understand, and he
doesn't define these until you are almost at the end of the book. I was mildly pleased with his not holding anything back, as he tells it like he sees it, but the language was either too descriptive or not detailed enough in their respective parts. I made it to the end of the book simply because I wanted to see what the seemingly arrogant Mr. Bourdain was going to do next.

In all honesty, it was a wild ride of a story, but better structure and the help of an editor would have made it a much nicer read.

somewhat interesting, though vulgar and disappointing, August 15, 2000
Reviewer: Michael K. McKeon from Seattle, WA USA
I anticipated some shock value being associated with this book. However, there are relatively few titillating facts or revelations in this book. Unfortunately, it largely diminishes the respect of readers who recognize the yeoman work and assume artistry being inherent in chef's work.

Perhaps Mr. Bourdain does accurately summarize the mindset and lifestyle of chefs and their kitchen staffs. I suspect, however, that he is more likely to be describing the restaurant scene in Manhattan than accurately summarizing it nationally, much less across the world. Bourdain's depiction of his experience with the fastidious and quality focused Tokyo restaurant scene undermines his thesis that the book's earlier characterizations are universal.

It is discouraging, because Mr. Bourdain effectively develops in the reader a distain for the profession and those drawn to it, leaving one with the impression that it is a magnet for maladjusted low lives who have, at best, marginal ethics.

This is a cynical and egotistical work. Mr. Bourdain acknowledges, and wallows in his excessively positive self image. He goes to extreme lengths in an effort to prove that this is a manly profession, salting it with excessive (and unnecessary) vulgarity, references to aberrant -- albeit heterosexual -- predelictions and practices, and numerous homophobic remarks. Yawn. This simply indicates significant insecurity and a poor self image not far from the surface. Perhaps I am inferring this from the author's continual allusions to his former drug addiction and significant consumption of alcohol and tobacco throughout the book.

While the gourmand willl find a number of passages somewhat
informative and interesting, ultimately this is a depressing book. It leaves you with a sense of distain, distrust, and some pity for those in the restaurant business, who you are left thinking work too hard for too little and waste their lives. One suspects, and hopes, it is more autobiography than an accurate description of the profession.



Kitchen Confidential : Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
by Anthony Bourdain

List Price: $24.95
Our Price: $19.96
You Save: $4.99 (20%)

Hardcover- 307 pages 1 ed (May 2000)
UniChef.com Sales Rank: 6
Avg. Customer Review:
Number of Reviews: 96


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