Back then, “Kitchen Confidential” proved to be an inspiring call to action, and one of many factors that helped push me towards a career in food and wine. I finished the book in less than two days, as I remember just buzzing through the text, probably over the course of just three or four sittings. Subsequently, I did something that I never do, which was loan the book to someone else. I actually gave my copy to a server at Houston’s Santa Monica named (and I’m not making this up) Karma. I told him that when he was finished reading it, just to loan the book to someone else in the business. Ideally, I’d like to think that the book has changed many hands since then, but who knows? As a former English major, I usually go well out of my way to hoard books, but for some reason, I felt almost evangelical about this one. Or perhaps it was because I knew that I would soon be leaving Los Angeles, and one more book would just be one more thing to pack.
Book Review by Molly Lundquist
Bourdain is bad-ass. At least he was 30-some years ago; now he's a grey-haired eminence of the culinary world with several books and TV series under his whites. And it's hard to believe that Kitchen Confidential is closing in on 15 years.
But what a book! Gossipy, deeply personal, always witty and sometimes shocking, it manages to be instructive for both professional cooks and the dining public. Cautionary advice for budding chefs? "Show up on time." For diners? "Nix the Eggs Benedict" (come to think of it, skip Sunday brunch altogether).
So, I've finished reading Anthony Bourdain's book Kitchen Confidential, which is basically about all the craziness that goes on behind the scenes in the restaurant world. As I started reading the book, I thought I'd be of one of two minds by the end: either I'd never want to eat out again, or I'd want to chuck the teaching career and become a chef. Now that I've finished the book, I can honestly say that I really don't want to do either. I still will eat out although I'll never have fish on Monday -- not that that's too difficult since I don't order fish unless I'm actually at a place where I can smell the salt water. And I don't want to become a chef. I'm not at all suited for that craziness when the mad rush comes in.