Kitchen Confidential Summary
This book, Anthony Bourdain's first full-length published work, expands upon a feature article he submitted to The New Yorker. Reader and critic responses to his magazine article were so positive that Bourdain was offered a book deal to write about his experiences working in restaurants. Kitchen Confidential is about far more than the author's experience working in the kitchen, however; he also goes into his chaotic and high-speed lifestyle, which included bouts of drug addiction.
Bourdain shares many behind-the-scenes activities in the New York restaurants he worked in, including details that many readers find shocking and which prove to be a sort of exposé about the industry in general. Horror stories that have become the stuff of urban legend are shared, including stories describing expensive cuts of meat that fell off plates onto the floor just as they were meant to be served and that were then brushed off and brought out to unsuspecting diners. He describes cooks and food preparers who lived on nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol, having no time or inclination to eat during their long, frantic shifts in the kitchen. Bourdain describes his fellow employees as hardworking but also brash, self-destructive, and often anti-social. He describes sexual situations that occurred in the workplace. He also describes the strange camaraderie of the kitchen and mentions the difficult working conditions for undocumented workers, whose plight he sought to raise awareness of in his later writings and television shows.
Kitchen Confidential also displays Bourdain's unusual culinary perspective and approach to cooking. His ideology is unpretentious to the point of being refreshing, and this is partly what helped...
(The entire section is 420 words.)