This was one of the most entertaining non-fiction books I've read in a long time. Bourdain is brutal in his honesty, which I give him credit for. It must have been hard, but not too hard. Bourdain's personality comes through pretty clearly in this mostly autobiographical story of how he came into cooking professionally, how he got where he is now, and the many, many mistakes he made along the way. But its his personality that brightens, and darkens, this story.
I say that it mustn't have been too hard for Bourdain to make these confessions about what goes on in restaurant kitchens, while we sit in the dinning room, or about the choices he's made in his life, because I get the distinct impression that he doesn't care what you or I think. He's lived a different life than the rest of us, so who are we to judge, seems to be the message.
But after what he's been through, he's still not all hard edges and callus, there is a softer side that shines through as well, albeit, not that often. I said earlier that reading his stories was like hanging around at a party with an old friend telling war stories. I still think that. It think it would be great fun to hang out with him for a night, and maybe bar hop, in Hong Kong or somewhere, and listen to him talk about food, how its made, and why we love it so much. In the end, Kitchen Confidential is a love letter to food, from the old boyfriend whose been thrown out so many times, he can't remember, but he can't give her up.