Anthony Bourdain has a fun voice to read. He’s honest and cool and genuine. I like that.
Kitchen Confidential is his memoir as a professional chef in New York City. He has pretty pleasant beginnings–grew up with money, travels to Paris as a kid, can afford a good culinary school. He learns to love food young too. Starts out as a guy who wants a bandaid for a burn and turns into someone who runs their kitchen like a locker room. It’s a masculine place where you have to take the joke whether it’s about dicks or sex or you being a pendejo. Just be cool.
Because all that really matters is the work, both in the kitchen and in this book. It’s not about your dating life, your citizenship status, your personal history. It’s about your ability to get shit done and your commitment to the lifestyle. Bourdain is laying in bed in the morning smoking, thinking about what will get ordered and what will be the specials. Cooking during the lunch rush, planning out each pot and pan as orders come in. Trying food at other restaurants, drinking liquor at other bars. I mean, all this guy thinks about is food. It’s a charming obsession.
Best line: He’s a mean looking bastard. The other Mexicans claim he carries a gun, insists that he sniffs ‘thinner’ and ‘pintura,’ that he’s done a lot of prison time. I don’t care if he killed Kennedy, the man is the greatest prep cook I’ve ever had. (Bourdain 189-90)