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Aug 4, 2005 10:05 PM

Kitchen Confidential

  • t

Whenever there is a post on chowhound regarding books about cooking, Anthony Bourdain's name usually comes up. As a result I bought the Les Halles cookbook, I enjoyed his wit so much I decided to read Kitchen Confidential. What a fun read!! After a long day it is just what the doctor ordered. So thank you to all who have recommended his works. I really appreciate it.

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  1. I thoroughly enjoyed Kitchen Confidential...laughed out loud at many passages! Great book.

    1. Tracy, I strongly suggest you also read Jeffrey Steingarten's wonderful book: "The Man Who Ate Everything". You'll never view catsup the same.
      As a side note, Mario Batali's new cook book: "Molto Italiano" is written with great wit and is the best Italian cookbook I have found yet.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Leper

        Thanks for the recommendations. I have been considering buying a Batali book, your suggestion will help me narrow my choices down.

        1. re: Leper

          I second the Stiengarten book! Excellent read! And very funny while being very informative. I want to get my hands on his subsequent books too.

        2. I loved the book and I loved his show "A Cook's Tour" It is fun to watch a chef who is as irreverant as he is instead of having to watch Rachel Ray play to the 20 somethings.

          5 Replies
          1. re: dinwiddie

            Are the 20-somethings of a single Rachael-Ray-loving mindset? What is it about her that "plays" to them--lack of real cooking skills or refusal to leave a decent tip?

            1. re: nc213

              I just turned 30. I still consider myself a 20-something.

              I DETEST Rachel Ray. DETEST!

              I've read Bourdain's books. Also read "the Making of a Chef" by Michael Ruhlman and highly recommend it.

              Rachel Ray!?!?! FEH!!!

            2. re: dinwiddie

              Uhhh, you really think that Rachael Ray appeals to "20-somethings" more than Tony Bourdain? Really? God, I'd hate to meet those 20-somethings. Then again, they'd make my 20-something self feel young and reckless!

              1. re: dinwiddie

                I attended the dinner that he had here in DC to introduce the Cookbook, sponsored by Smithsonian, and he was even better in person. Quite the personality and at the same time a regular guy.

                1. re: Roe

                  My wife, a girlfriend of hers and I went to his reading/signing party at Vroman's bookstore here in Pasadena. He was as cheerfully outspoken and obscene as in his books in his address to a room consisting largely of more or less elderly women, and he had'em eating out of his hand. What worked was his utter lack of pretentiousness, his hard focus on his craft and his unqualified respect for both it and its practitioners, and his willingness to address exactly what excited him and what pissed him off. He said kind things about Emeril, to everyone's amazement, and his rhetoric left the Food Network in smoking ruins. And then he happily hugged the bejeezus out of my wife and Susan while I took their picture...

                  A good sport. Most impressive was his rather wan description of the previous night's Very Fancy Dinner, followed by his avid interest in THIS evening's adventures, when a bunch of kitchen flunkies were going to take him to Koreatown. Yay, Tony!

              2. There is a tv show coming on this fall based on that book.

                1. Not only is the Les Halles Cookbook funny as all get out, it's the first book that made me think seriously and clearly about the physical part of cooking - the mise en place, getting your tools and ingredients and counter space (and sink space and fridge space) all in order before you even start cooking. I'm so bad at that, always finding myself holding a hot pan of something that's about to be overcooked, and no place to put it down nor a dish to spoon it into.

                  And in his cassoulet recipe, there's the best and easiest recipe for duck confit you'll ever find...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Will Owen

                    I had the same experience with his discussion on mise en place. It really has helped me approach meal preparation from another more expedient angle. After reading Les Halles (and now KC) I think of it completely different than I used to.