Kitchen Confidential (book)

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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
Kitchen Confidential.jpg
First edition
Author Anthony Bourdain
Country United States
Language English
Genre Memoir
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication date
August, 2000
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 320
ISBN 0-7475-5072-7
Followed by A Cook's Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly is a New York Times bestselling non-fiction book written by American chef Anthony Bourdain.

In 1999, Bourdain's essay "Don’t Eat Before Reading This" was published in the New Yorker. [1]. This served as the foundation for Kitchen Confidential.[2]

Released in 2000, the book is both Bourdain's professional memoir and a behind-the-scenes look at restaurant kitchens. The book is known for its treatment of the professional culinary industry. The commercial kitchen is described as an intense, unpleasant, and sometimes hazardous workplace staffed by what he describes as misfits. Bourdain believes that the workplace is not for hobbyists and that anyone entering this industry without a masochistic, irrational dedication to cooking will be deterred.

The book alternates between a confessional narrative and an industry commentary, providing insightful and humorous anecdotes on the cooking trade. Bourdain has cited George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London (1933), with its behind-the-scenes examination of the restaurant business in 1920s Paris, as an important influence on the book's themes and tone.[3] Bourdain details some of his personal misdeeds and weaknesses, including drug use. He explains how restaurants function economically and warns consumers of the various tricks of restaurateurs. For example, he advises customers to avoid fish on a Monday as it is likely left over from the weekend or earlier. He also suggests avoiding well-done beef, since the meat is more likely to be from a less-than-best grade, as the substandard flavor would be masked in overcooking.

The book received positive reviews and created a large public following. Bourdain consequently became a celebrity.

A follow-up book, Medium Raw, was published in 2010.

In 2017, in light of the Me Too movement, Bourdain expressed remorse that the book “celebrated or prolonged a culture that allowed the kind of grotesque behaviors we’re hearing about all too frequently”.[4]

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