This week I took a break from my usual fare (of American History books and business development reading) to read a memoir loaned and recommended by a friend.
I’ve pretty much devoured Kitchen Confidential Updated Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (P.S.) by Anthony Bourdain.
Pun only a little bit intended.
(sidenote: I don’t ONLY read non-fiction. But I admit it’s starting to look that way)
We were at said friend’s house – her husband was making us all (an amazing) lunch and we were talking a lot about food. I guess she watches a lot of Food Network? I don’t actually have TV so it’s probably better that I don’t know what I’m missing.
But, she recommended that I read this memoir about some chef-dude I had never heard of.
Jessica – you could not be more right.
I love this book! Love it.
Published in 2000, this book is “a deliciously funny, delectably shocking banquet of wild-but-true tales of life in the culinary trade from Chef Anthony Bourdain, laying out his more than a quarter-century of drugs, sex and haute cuisine.” (from the back cover. Obviously I don’t really talk like that)
I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that I could be a really good cook…. As long as I don’t have to do anything with avocados.
And now! This memoir lets me live vicariously through Bourdain as he works his way up the restaurant hierarchy.
Sidenote for those interested: I do have an irregular blog series on Those Crazy Schuberts called Schubert Eats – about our recipes, kitchen gadgets and fun foods.
This book covers some of the more interesting topics like why you really should never eat brunch at a restaurant and only order fish on Tuesdays through Thursdays. Bourdain recommends very basic equipment to stock your own kitchen like a chef (hello, Amazon wishlist) as well as discusses some of the more well-known-to-NYC-cooks personalities he’s dealt with over the last 30-40 years as a chef.
He also writes about how much work goes into opening up a restaurant …. 17 hour days for a week or two. It might be weird, but I’m a little jealous of people who work harder than me. I always think “I could do that” …. but I never do.
As of this writing I have just over 100 pages left (I’ll probably be done by tonight). I need to keep my eyes out for this book at a used book store or thrift shop – I’m sure I’ll want to read it again.
Reading Kitchen Confidential plants a seed of inspiration to:
- Get all new (heavy-duty) pots and pans, a dutch oven and much (much) better knives
- Cook all the time – plan elaborate meals for dinner guests
- Give up sleep in favor of work
- Try new recipes on a regular basis
- Give up our microwave (done, actually. This week it died)
- Read Medium Raw – the sequel memoir published this year
- Read Bourdain’s other books – he has some restaurant-related novels and other non-fiction
- Subscribe to his blog (done. He blogs for his Travel Channel show)
- Watch the short-lived TV show Kitchen Confidential loosely inspired by this book (I hear it’s on Hulu)
- Check if Jamie Oliver has written a memoir (I love him)