It's month three of the SarahOhm.com blogger book club! If you're not familiar, each month, our little group tackles a different theme, then we all blog our thoughts about our chosen book at the end of the month.
The theme for March was to read a "biography of someone you've been meaning to learn more about." Seeing as how I'm shallow, I didn't want to read a biography about a world leader, or a groundbreaking scientist. I wanted to learn more about a celebrity! I quite enjoy reading celebrity biographies. If written well, they can be entertaining (obviously), insightful and a little inspiring as it allows one to escape into a life much crazier than your own. One celeb I always thought would be a great fantasy dinner guest is chef Anthony Bourdain and so I thought I'd pick one of his novels as my March read.
If you're unfamiliar, Anthony Bourdain is the acerbic and wonderfully descriptive writer/host of some of my favourite food and travel shows, like No Reservations. I could binge watch his show all night long as he travels to exotic locales and eats his way through a million incarnations of pork sandwiches. His book Kitchen Confidential is a biography of sorts as it documents Bourdain's journey from line cook to chef. Along the way are the usual hi-jinks, drug binges and peeks into the greasy underbelly of the restaurant industry that mark the life of a rock n' roll style chef. The way Bourdain puts it, cooking is one hell of a profession and attracts the lowliest of the low to create the holiest of things: good food. In striving for that simple pleasure, all can achieve greatness and Bourdain gleefully revels in both the highs and lows of his chosen craft.
Kitchen Confidential is very eye-opening and should be required reading I think for anyone contemplating a career in cooking. Certainly it's convinced me that I would never do it, but only because I know I wouldn't be able to last in the uber-masculine, cutthroat environment. The book also offers some handy tips for restaurant goers that will have me looking askew at brunch forever (just don't do it).
Like his shows, Bourdain's writing voice comes through effortlessly clear and I love his ruthless skewering of other fellow chefs. The guy loves what he does and that passion and refusal to sell out demands your respect and attention. While I think I'd be too intimidated to offer any opinions were I ever to meet him, I'd love to just sit at his table and listen to him regale me with stories over beers and some fresh seafood.
You can purchase your own copy of Kitchen Confidential via Amazon.
Catch up on my previous reads:
And don't forget to join me for next month's theme: healthy living!