Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Unabridged Audiobook

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Book Rating (422)

Narrator Rating (65)

Written By: Anthony Bourdain

Narrated By: Anthony Bourdain

Date: February 2001

Duration: 8 hours 20 minutes


When Chef Anthony Bourdain wrote "Don't Eat Before You Read This" in The New Yorker, he spared no one's appetite, revealing what goes on behind the kitchen door. In Kitchen Confidential, he expanded the appetizer into a deliciously funny, delectably shocking banquet that lays out his twenty-five years of sex, drugs, and haute cuisine.

From his first oyster in Gironda to the kitchen of the Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center, from the restaurants of Tokyo to the drug dealers of the East Village, from the mobsters to the rats, Bourdain's brilliantly written and wonderfully read, wild-but-true tales make the belly ache with laughter.


  • White&Gold

    Don't "read" this book expecting detailed recipes or a "how to" on owning your own restaurant. Bourdain's book was a great one to listen to, the narrator was very playful, and the content of Bourdain's life in the restaurant industry very entertaining. I highly suggest this (mostly) non-fiction as an "off the beaten path" book, full of great stories, a few insightful know-hows, and just enough vulgarity to make you really feel this Chef's "no-bull" mantra.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

  • Stephanie Howland

    I love this book, and Anthony Bourdain. His narration was great, and over all a great entertaining book that helped pass the time during a road trip. I highly recommend to any fellow foodie out there.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • David D.

    This was a very realistic look at how many kitchens are behind the scenes, for all its glory and hardships. This was my first Anthony Bourdain book and I will have to read the others. He narrates the book perfectly, he gives you little tastes of what it feels like to be in a big time kitchen and really shows his love of food.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    Totally entertaining. Anthony Bourdain does a great job of narrarating and he had me laughing frequently. Enjoyable even for a reader who isn't interested in the culinary world.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Pete Wright

    I personally thought this was a great book to listen to. I think the author did a wonderful job telling of his experience in the restaurant industry, and I think he made a great reader of the book. I'm glad it wasn't someone else. Sure the content can be coarse, but read the jacket, how can you not expect that going into it? I found myself driving with barely surprised laughter more than a few times, and I haven't listened to much that got that much out of me yet. I will now likely try his other audio book that is available.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    As others (and the description) mention, the author's language and subject matter can be rather raw and coarse. Still, I found this entertaining and interesting (it's clear that Bourdain's experiences are specific to him- give him credit for mentioning this a number of times). The descriptions of dishes, cooking techniques are elightening for a novice foodie like myself. This book convinced me to keep cooking a hobby - but I'm a bit more educated, and won't ever view a meal out in quite the same way! (Avoiding fish on Sunday, particularly the mixed seafood anything on a brunch menu!) All in all, an entertaining listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Kevin L.

    I laughed, I cried..Rest in Peace Anthony. You are missed.

  • Vincent L.

    Can never go wrong with Bourdain; funny, insightful, informative.

  • Panos K.

    a great book and as honest you would think from bourdain

  • Robert R.

    get insight to the world of chefs.

  • Patty C.

    loved hearing Anthony Bourdain "read" his book! so much better than reading it yourself

  • Catherine C.

    I appreciated his honesty, but he eliminated my agency as a person who is a vegetarian - and he sadly excluded me from eager inclusion in his magical story.

  • Anonymous

    Really enjoyed this frank and realistic look a the inside of the kitchen of some very good (and some not so good) New York restaurants. His writing is vivid and colorful, so that you feel like you're right there with him. However, note that if you object to bad language, you won't be happy with this book!

  • Anonymous

    The first couple CD's were interesting, but I lost interest and couldn't finish. If you love fancy foods, you might be more interested than me.

  • Alaynè

    I am not a chef. As a matter of fact, I don't even use my stove at home. Nonetheless, I am loving this title by Anthony Bourdain. Each time I get in the car and listen to him talk about his many (mis)adventures in cooking, I find myself either laughing out loud or cringing at the thought at the next inevitable meal I will have at a local restaurant.

  • Anonymous

    If you're not easily offended by foul language and low moral standards, this book is a raucous ride. I'm not sure how Bourdain survived to tell the tale, but he's a great story teller and an engaging narrator. I'd read the book awhile ago, but it was much more engaging to hear his voice, putting an entirely different spin on his colorful language. (His insults alone are worth the listen.) Aside from a short chapter on "professional kitchen tips," the purpose of the book is entertainment, and not insider advice on cooking or running a restaurant. Idle daydreams about someday opening a restaurant won't be so appealing after you listen to this one! Bourdain vividly paints a picture of the intensity of a professional kitchen, the odd characters drawn to the profession, and the sense of family that emerges when people work together under these conditions. You might even gain an appreciation of WHY that meal at your favorite "fine dining" establishment costs so much!

  • George Smith

    First...I love Bourdain. He cuts to the chase about the world of food and restaurants...Particularly the one's in New York City. If anyone loves food or even is thinking about the "romantic notion" of owning a restaurant this is a must "listen" (or read). The only complaint is that it is 7 CD's a little too long and it gets a little repetitive.

  • Anonymous

    Loved this book, as a closet foodie I throughly enjoy Bourdain's dry & sardonic style. This book is the real commercial kitchen experience. BTDT. His occasional references to his person battles help to authentic & inspire , if they don't repulse you first. Word of warning if you are offended by profanity do not get. With his typical flair Bourdain rattles off a string of profanitites (he gives an example of how he would reprimand an employee) IF you are not easily offened and appreciate honest, real, insider stories. This would be a good choice for you .

  • Caitlin Alexander

    This audio book was excellent. Getting to hear and understand the sub culture of restuerant kitchens was exciting and fascinating. I was eager to get back in my car for long drives just to be able to listen to more stories of this world. I am not a cook, chef or even a foody and I found this book fantastic. Hearing Anthony Bourdain reading his own work also added for me. He is rough and raw and full of insightful intuitive remarks that you could hear through his rough and tumble persona. I really enjoyed this book.

  • KD

    Somehow, I thought this book would be more informative and less vulgar. The profanity was irritating at best, and the book wasn't really what I expected. There were a few tidbits of useful information, but for the most part the book is a collection of stories dating back to the early 1970's of the author's experiences -- frequently unsavory or unpleasant -- working in restaurants. Mostly, he succeeded in making me think less of chefs as a whole, which is unfortunate. He might have redeemed himself in the end, but I'll never know...I couldn't make it past disc 5, just too boring and too much profanity.

  • Patricia

    Disgusting book! I could be more explicit but I won't though I think my reaction had to be the reaction the author was going for in this degrading account of the restaurant business. Eating out should be a celebration esp. for what you pay for a decent meal. There was somthing spiritual about eating out for me... not anymore. I want only to find the chefs like Scott Bryan to create my meals though he seems to be a rare find. I am cooking more for myself now seeing as I am not interested in supporting such a seedy industry. At least now I have some good recommendations for tools for cooking. I am vegetarian so if I ever met Tony we know the dislike would be mutual.

  • Andrew

    Very well-written and interesting book. Highly recommend.

  • Jessica

    This book is just plain good fun. Its an interesting look into the life of a non-celebrity chef. Of course Tony wrote this before he got a show on the travel channel! Not for the faint of heart or anyone easily offended by foul language. Basically, its just a fun book to listen to while stuck in traffic.

  • Allison Scobie-Lloyd

    This author tends to list things...ingredients, explitives, things you need to cook....but this sort of writing tends to be monotonous. When he described his friends or others in the business, the story cam alive....but between these little nuggets, I was not moved.

  • Robert Morrow

    If you're a professional chef, you already know this stuff, though Bourdain is a little out there, even for the pro's. For the rest of us who enjoy cooking as a hobby, this is a tremendous insight into a business that, thank God, we didn't take on full-time. Bourdain, though verbally coarse, is knowledgeable, experienced, and talented both as a chef and as a storyteller. The CDs are entertaining and informative. I' m glad I know a bit more about the cooking world; I'm glad I picked up a couple of cool NY recipes. But I'm also convinced, thanks to Bourdain's candid autobiography, that cooking, for me, will never be more than a fun hobby!

  • Cherry

    If I had know the content of this book, I would never have ordered it. The one thing I'm happy for is that I finished it. The author finally admitted that all kitchens and staff are not like his. I fast forwarded through at least half of the book.

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

by Anthony Bourdain

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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, Anthony Bourdain
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, Anthony Bourdain
This title is due for release on February 7, 2001.

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This title is due for release on February 7, 2001
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