This review is courtesy of @erindoxtater.
I like food. I have always liked food. Good food, bad food, gourmet food, street food. My first sentence was devoted to the acquisition of food: “Cucumber please, Mommy.” While I was disappointed that this book was NOT about food, I did find it very enjoyable. I thought it was refreshing, intriguing, and only slightly over-embellished.
I could totally relate to Bourdain’s hatred for those who like their meat “murdered.” I understand that he feels like those people disrespect the knowledge and craft he has devoted his life to. I also understood how, no matter how much you love what you do, you pay your chops and earn your battle scars. It was refreshing to hear it from someone else in another field.
This book was all about sex, drugs, and his version of rock and roll…. FOOD. You can tell this man loves what he does and what he eats. I do wonder about his claims, however. Is it really possible to do that many drugs in a semi-public place for 15+ years and still get hired again? To still have brains cells that function well enough to be that funny? To sell a book?
Finally, where was the food? I have watched a few episodes of his show “No Reservations”, which is all food with witty anecdotes. This book was closer to a guide on how to run a cruise ship than how to cook a decent meal. Furthermore, almost none of the food in the book seems appetizing, except for the bread (made by the man who is such a criminal, he is given a pseudonym.) Yet, if Bourdain knows all that goes on behind closed doors and can still go out to dinner and enjoy it, then so will I.
I am going to go out and buy his other books. I am going to laugh out loud at his “Confidential” tidbits. I am going to wish I had his culinary experience. And I am going to shake my head at his embellishment of the previous evening’s antics like I would any good friend 5 drinks in at the bar. He has a way of making you feel like you’re a part of the gang and “in” on the secret. Overall, this book is worth reading for the entertainment factor and culinary tidbits, whether or not you believe it’s completely non-fiction.
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