Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
I scavenged this book from the left-behind belongings of a professional cook / former roommate / ex-girlfriend of my boyfriend.
Bourdain talks a lot about cooking, but he seems to expect that you know what demi-glace and confit and dupes and dozens of other non-layman cooking terms mean. He talks a lot about how professional kitchens are run, but in the final chapters tells you that everything he told you in the previous chapters doesn’t apply to most kitchens. He talks a lot about his personal life from college to present but only near the end does he mention he’s married to his high school sweetheart.
He’s like a cook at his station, preparing only some of the meal, expecting the other cooks on the line (or a more canny editor) to contribute to the final product. Still, what he can cook at only one station on the line is delicious, funny and illuminating.
After twenty-five years of ‘sex, drugs, bad behaviour and haute cuisine’, chef and novelist Anthony Bourdain has decided to tell all. From his first oyster in the Gironde to his lowly position as a dishwasher in a honky tonk fish restaurant in Provincetown; from the kitchen of the Rainbow Room atop the Rockefeller Center to drug dealers in the East Village, from Tokyo to Paris and back to New York again, Bourdain’s tales of the kitchen are as passionate as they are unpredictable, as shocking as they are funny.