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Kitchen Confidential
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About the Author

Anthony Bourdain is the executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in New York City. He is also the author of two novels GONE BAMBOO and BONE IN THE THROAT to be published by Cannongate in March 2000. His expose of New York restaurants 'Don't Eat Before Reading This' was published in the NEW YORKER in 1999 attracting huge attention in America and the U.K. KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL is his first book of non-fiction.

Reviews

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 'Fantastic: as lip-smackingly seductive as a bowl of fat chips and pungent aioli' Daily Telegraph 'Elizabeth David written by Quentin Tarantino' A.A. Gill 'Extraordinary ... written with a clarity and a clear-eyed wit to put the professional food-writing fraternity to shame' Observer

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