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Book Review 1: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

Author: Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain was a well-known chef who worked most of his career in New York City. His book, Kitchen Confidential, raised him to the coveted celebrity chef status. His career really starts with him as a regular guy, attending Vassar College in New York. Being a pothead with no ambition spending his summer in Providence, RI, he decides to make some cash by working at a hard nose, tough restaurant. There he falls in love with the culture that exists behind closed kitchen doors in restaurants. He decides to attend the Culinary Institute of America and pursue his dreams of being a chef. For over 25 years, he worked his way up through New York City. His most notable position was head chef at Brasserie Les Halles. Bourdain published Kitchen Confidential in May of 2000, launching his name and brand worldwide. Anthony Bourdain died by suicide in France in 2018.


Kitchen Confidential is a non-fiction memoir where Anthony Bourdain details the people, story, mistakes, and successes that molded him into a working chef in New York City.

Reading Experience

Kitchen Confidential pretty seamlessly told Anthony Bourdain's story. Personally, I am not a huge foodie. I enjoy delicious meals without getting too much into the science and art that went behind it. The long-winded descriptions of meals blended into white noise, and I can confidently say that I can not recall a single step in making his Frito Pie; however, behind the food nerd that is Anthony Bourdain, the incredibly unregulated, amoral, even criminal underbelly of New York restaurants in the 80s and 90s entertained me endlessly and even made me briefly consider dropping everything and becoming a chef. It is worth reading for anyone and is a book that can be put down for a week or two and picked up at convenience for the reader.


For me, the biggest takeaway is the importance of finding what you enjoy. Bourdain had a lot of work ethic, but he also loved the gritty nature of the restaurant kitchen. That love kept him in the game for so many years through heroin addiction, being fired multiple times, and working eighteen-hour days. Kitchen Confidential is a reminder to all that passion and consistency, above all else, will generate long-term results in any career field.



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