Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Don't keep this book Confidential!

Today’s Book: Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, Anthony Bourdain

The plot: Bourdain, best known for his acerbic wit and adventurous tastebuds on A Cook’s Tour and No Reservations television shows, and regular guest spots on Top Chef, talks about how he got started in the restaurant business. Starting on the lowest rung as a summer-stock prep cook at a tacky fish and chowder restaurant, and working his way up to executive chef/chef-at-large at Brasserie Les Halles in New York, Bourdain tells of adventures in cooking, schooling, traveling, and getting high and getting sober in between.

Why You’ll Love It: Even if you’re not a fan of Bourdain’s spiky wit and public persona, you might be hard-pressed to put this book down. He writes with a style all his own, and tells stories that you just know are true, even if the names have been changed. It’s a quick read, at 352 pages, and each chapter is more engrossing than the next. He also includes a chapter on how you can make food like the famous chefs, and makes it sound easy (the trick: a good knife and squeeze bottles of sauce. No, really!)

Who Will/Should Read It: Foodies, wannabe foodies, fans of Bourdain, and anyone who watches the food network more than ten hours a week (guilty, guilty!)

Bourdain has also written novels (Bone in the Throat, Gone Bamboo, The Bobby Gold Stories), and collected some shorter pieces penned for magazines in The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones.

A few years back, Fox also made a TV series based on the book, starring Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Nicholas Brendan, but it was short-lived. Curious cooks can order the DVD set from MeLCat.

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