Sunday, 16 December 2018

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly| Insider's Edition by Anthony Bourdain

“My love for chaos, conspiracy and the dark side of human nature colors the behavior of my charges, most of whom are already living near the fringes of acceptable conduct.”

Friends who work or who have worked in kitchens waxed lyrical about this book, their eyes glazing over in that same worshipping manner that you see in kids talking about their football or musical idol. Reading this, I can see why. Certainly, in a post me-too world its problematic to explore an atmosphere that often borders on the abusive, but for someone who has worked in close quarters under tight deadlines with people under pressure, I completely understand the heightened circumstances.

The insiders edition has rather delightful handwritten additions from the author which feel particularly strange given his untimely passing. In some ways it is almost like a voice from beyond and there's something reassuring about that. My path to Bourdain was through his television series and I was quite late to the party. I was rather shaken by his early departure because even watching a few episodes made me feel like a kindred spirit and that always makes these difficult circumstances more troubling.

At any rate, reading this little expose was a delight that I would happily revisit. Bad behaviour has never been more entertaining.

5 out of 5 bad boys are more entertaining and often care more.

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