Chef extraordinaire, food writer and all around bad boy, Anthony Bourdain.
He wrote, in 2000, a kick-ass memoir entitled, Kitchen Confidential I found languishing on my library shelf. It was after reading the New York Times Book Review’s little weekly insert called By The Book, when they interview an author.
Gabrielle Hamilton, a well-known New York chef owning an eatery called Prune, was the invited guest. I had read her tell-all book called Blood, Bones and Butter loving every word, so when she was asked, who’s your favorite foodie, Anthony Bourdain was her chosen man.
What’s your favorite chef memoir?
How many years has it been since “Kitchen Confidential” was published? How many dozens or even hundreds of subsequent chef memoirs have littered the shelves since? Anthony Bourdain wrote the only one that matters; it’s both the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem of all line cooks throughout the world. I still reread it occasionally, and I still stand up and put my hand over my heart.
Since referrals are everything, I went looking for him in the Society Library’s cookbook section. There he was, all dusty between James Beard and the history of The Stork Club.
Think Johnny Depp of food…so off we rode into the horizon.
How to describe Kitchen Confidential is challenging, since it’s one of the funniest, darkest, honest…did he really say that…memoirs I have ever read.
I troll for a writer like him. Someone who shows up unabashedly naked on the page with a saucy, pun intended, smile on his face.
If you ever told me candor was the ticket to a timeless turn-on, I would have looked at you in my best Connecticut glare and said, “Where I come from, a man’s balls should stay in his pants.”
But I don’t hold that opinion any longer.
I’m besotted with him, now in the midst of Nasty Bits, a collection of essays he’s written for magazines like Gourmet and Esquire, letting those balls hang out like Xmas ornaments.
I’m thrilled there are more waiting in the wings, like A Cook’s Tour, Typhoid Mary and Medium Raw.
To find an author new to you, is like walking a beach finding gold.
I think what also amazes me, is what a great writer he is. The in-depth, detailed descriptions whether he’s speaking of food, pussy (his word), or rehab chill you to the bone.
For me this is bravery at its best.
And to think he even has his own show, No Reservations, I’ve yet to see, soars me to new heights.
For all those who love to eat, cook, travel, laugh and enjoy having the shit shocked out of you, Anthony Bourdain is your man.
Trust me on this.