Books, Lit Fests, News, Movies, Art, Fashion and TV of course... "I must say that I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a book." - GROUCHO MARX

My Photo

I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


For all you diners like me, who when dining out, get impressed by that sublime sliver of something topping your foie gras, and look at the drizzle of sauce imagining chefs are culinary artists in disguise, hold it right there.

Veteran chef, columnist, food lover and television presenter Anthony Bourdain spills all to shatter that view in his immensely readable 'Kitchen Confidential'.

That elegant concoction you may have just swooned over, he tells the impressed reader is the collaborative effort of a team of "wacked-out moral degenerates, dope fiends, refugees and a thuggish assortment of drunks." And that is only the beginning.

Bourdain leaves no stone unturned to reveal the gritty details, he remains unapologetically opinionated from start to finish. All of which strangely comes together to make Kitchen Confidential a rollicking read. A large part of Bourdain's charm is his honesty that spells itself in the opening caveat:
"There will be horror stories....But I'm simply not going to deceive anybody about the life as I've seen it."

And then there is the story itself, that among other things, teaches you why it pays to look at your waiter's face:
"He knows. It's another reason to be polite to your waiter: he could save your life with a raised eyebrow or a sigh. If he likes you, maybe he'll stop you from ordering a piece of fish he knows is going to hurt you. On the other hand, maybe the chef has ordered him, under the pain of death, to move that codfish before it begins to really reek. Observe the body language and take note."

Why you should be careful when it comes to seafood:
"I have had, at a very good Paris brassiere, the misfortune of eating a single bad mussle, one treacherous little guy hidden among an otherwise impeccable group. It slammed me shut like a book, sent me crawling to the bathroom. I prayed that night. For many hours. And as you might assume, I'm the worst kind of atheist. Fortunately, the French have liberal policies on doctor's house calls and affordable health care. But I do not care to repeat that experience."

And is the kitchen all blood, no gore?
"I'm not even going to talk about blood. Let's just say we cut ourselves a lot in the kitchen and leave it at that."

Labels: ,