The internationally best-selling book, which spawned a dozen imitations Published as part of the Bloomsbury 21st Birthday Celebrations Includes reading group guide So far this book has sold over 300,000 copies in paperback
Anthony Bourdain is the author of the bestselling Kitchen Confidential, Typhoid Mary, and A Cook's Tour, which was turned into a successful series by the same name for the Food Network. His fiction includes The Bobby Gold Stories, Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo. He is the executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in New York City and recently published Les Halles Cookbook.
Chef at New York's Les Halles and author of Bone in the Throat, Bourdain pulls no punches in this memoir of his years in the restaurant business. His fast-lane personality and glee in recounting sophomoric kitchen pranks might be unbearable were it not for two things: Bourdain is as unsparingly acerbic with himself as he is with others, and he exhibits a sincere and profound love of good food. The latter was born on a family trip to France when young Bourdain tasted his first oyster, and his love has only grown since. He has attended culinary school, fallen prey to a drug habit and even established a restaurant in Tokyo, discovering along the way that the crazy, dirty, sometimes frightening world of the restaurant kitchen sustains him. Bourdain is no presentable TV version of a chef; he talks tough and dirty. His advice to aspiring chefs: "Show up at work on time six months in a row and we'll talk about red curry paste and lemon grass. Until then, I have four words for you: `Shut the fuck up.' " He disdains vegetarians, warns against ordering food well done and cautions that restaurant brunches are a crapshoot. Gossipy chapters discuss the many restaurants where Bourdain has worked, while a single chapter on how to cook like a professional at home exhorts readers to buy a few simple gadgets, such as a metal ring for tall food. Most of the book, however, deals with Bourdain's own maturation as a chef, and the culmination, a litany describing the many scars and oddities that he has developed on his hands, is surprisingly beautiful. He'd probably hate to hear it, but Bourdain has a tender side, and when it peeks through his rough exterior and the wall of four-letter words he constructs, it elevates this book to something more than blustery memoir. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
'A compelling book with its intriguing mix of clever writing and kitchen patois more horrifically gripping than a Stephen King novel' Sunday Times 'A style partaking of Hunter S. Thompson, Iggy Pop and a little Jonathan Swift hysterical' New York Times 'Extraordinary written with a clarity and a clear-eyed wit to put the professional food-writing fraternity to shame' Observer 'Real, fast and frantic, this book conveys the buzz of the kitchen in a way that only a real cook will be able to understand' The Times