Inspired by my previous post and the recent release of Anthony Bourdain’s Medium Raw (the follow up to his first best seller), I finally got around to reading Kitchen Confidential- about a decade late, I know. It was well worth the wait, though I’m kicking myself for not having read this book in college when I was actually working long, frenzied hours in the food and beverage industry in some of the poshest, yet zaniest, restaurants in Knoxville. The book took me back to some of the darkest, scariest moments in my life (those of you who were servers know exactly what I mean). Bourdain’s insights on the fast-paced insanity of the “culinary underbelly” might have provided much needed, tender comfort on those days when I wanted to yank off my server’s apron and storm out of the restaurant in the middle of service, or could have sopped me up off floor after being reduced to a bloody puddle, slashed to bits by some hateful Chef’s razor sharp remarks to the effect of how bad I sucked as a server and at life (some days I felt this was actually true). Alas, I did not read the book until recently, though I assure you I enjoyed it just the same. Bourdain’s wit is unmatched. I found myself laughing out loud consistently as I dug through the pages. And I appreciated his staccato-like style with vivid, colorful descriptions that took me back to a time in my life I’d (sometimes) rather forget. I laughed along, not just at the the humour of Bourdain’s adventures as a Chef, but at the relatable inside-joke of life working in the dirty business of food. The book is a lightening quick read that I highly recommend when you crave something light, funny, and deliciously clever. I also recommend his television show No Reservations which features Bourdain’s culinary adventures around the world. Unlike most cable shows, I actually feel smarter after each episode.
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