Ain’t No One Like Anthony

 

 

Anthony Bourdain  is the be all and end all of all things culinary.  It’s not so much his kitchen skills as it is his speaking skills.  No other TV host, in the food realm at least, can capture an audience quite like Bourdain.   His acerbic wit and ability to describe dishes using both eloquent food terminology and street slang make watching him dine more enjoyable than dining yourself.

A couple of years ago, my mother and I got to meet the man.  Excuse this subpar picture, it’s the best I could ask of a stranger who wasn’t sure if they should snap the shot or give me mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as I was 12 seconds away from a full-blown heart attack.  I mean, look at the vein in my forehead.  I could be in the process of having an aneurism.  I believe I also peed my pants.

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Fellow readers and fellow food lovers – Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential is a fascinating look into the mysterious underworld of New York City restaurant kitchens in the 70s and 80s.

anthony bourdain

A little Wikipedia input, perhaps?

“The book, released in 2000, is both Bourdain’s professional story and a behind-the-scenes look at restaurant kitchens. The commercial kitchen is described as an intense, unpleasant and sometimes hazardous place of work staffed by what he describes as misfits. Bourdain believes it’s no place for hobbyists and all those entering this industry will run away screaming if they lack a masochistic, irrational dedication to cooking.  Bourdain details some of his personal misdeeds and weaknesses, including drug use and excessive lifestyle. He explains how restaurants function economically and the various restaurateur’s tricks of which consumers should be aware. For example, he advises customers to avoid ordering fish on a Monday as the fish for Monday would be likely a remnant from the weekend or earlier. He also suggests avoiding beef well done: the meat is more likely to be from less-than-best grade as the substandard flavor would be masked in overcooking.”

Ha, well, he doesn’t so much suggest that you don’t order well done beef because it’s substandard so much as he says you well done meat eaters are pieces of shit who should be taken out and shot for disrespecting the meat in such a manner.  He also pretty much suggests that they drop well done meat on the floor and kick it around like a soccer ball before serving.  Ok, he doesn’t come out and say that, but if I were a betting woman I’d put my money on the soccer ball routine for sure.

Bourdain has authored a few other books and they are worth reading, for sure, but nothing will ever come close to his dead-on glimpse into the culinary underbelly that is Kitchen Confidential.