Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Kitchen Confidential’ offers insight into life, food industry

Anthony Bourdain's 'Kitchen Confidential' offers insight into life, food industry

Anthony Bourdain’s “Kitchen Confidential” focuses on the hidden world of the food industry while also illustrating a life full of risks and failures.

Written in 2000, “Kitchen Confidential” shows readers the crazy, exciting pace of working in a restaurant, while also foreshadowing some major issues which would come to plague Bourdain who committed suicide June 8, 2018. Readers will become well acquainted with the food they’re eating and Bourdain himself.

Readers are quickly pulled into Bourdain’s life early on. Bourdain recounted his childhood trip to France which revolutionized the way he viewed food. He described himself as being a very insolent child who refused to venture out into new culinary tastes.

This changed when Bourdain and his younger brother were excluded from an outing to La Pyramide, a world-renowned French restaurant located in Vienne, France. This exclusion transformed the way Bourdain viewed food. He wanted to know what the big secret to it was. The mysteriousness and love for food continue to drive the book.

While readers learn about Bourdain’s life, they also have the privilege of discovering the dangers, the chaos and the art of making restaurant quality cuisine. Bourdain informs and instructs his readers on a wide variety of cooking needs.

One major point he stresses is to buy a decent chef knife and a heavy skillet. He says to make sure the skillet will crush someone else’s skull while remaining intact. Bourdain also suggests easy ways to make plated food look professional. One will only need plastic squirt bottles like the kind ketchup and mustard are found in. Bourdain demystifies the pretentious air fine-dining surrounds itself in and helps connect it to the real world.

Among his stories and his cooking tips and information, the reader sees the emotional issues Bourdain dealt with. As a chef, Bourdain had no free time to spend with his family or friends. He ran on less than eight hours of sleep and was constantly in chaotic situations where he must literally and figuratively put out fires.

This kind of exhausting and fast-paced lifestyle was mixed in with drinking excessively and doing copious amounts of drugs. Eventually, Bourdain stops using them, but depression went on to affect his life.

“Kitchen Confidential” gives the world a new insight into the food industry and Bourdain’s life. It challenges the reader and instills a sense of adventure and lust for life. The sad thing is to know the gift Bourdain gave to his readers is one he failed to give to himself.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)