Happy New Year everyone! Hope your Christmas was jolly and that there weren't too many gifts you want to return.
To start off the year 2011 with a laugh, I want to make my first post this year about this funny, and sometime crass, book by Anthony Bourdain. Kitchen Confidential is different to the previous books I have blogged about, in that, Bourdain focused more on his adult years as a chef in America, rather than his childhood memories. In the book, he utilised terms that only chefs or cooking-enthusiast would understand. I suspect that it's not because he's showing off, but because that is a part of his vocabulary, his day-to-day speech. Words like garde-manger, mise-en-place, waitron, livornaise, petit pois, which he attempted to explain towards the end of the book. He made oddly honest confessions about his drug-taking habit and he had a wicked sense humour, which I love. Nothing better than a book that can make me laugh.
Although, there is one thing that bothers me about the book and that's its disjointedness. There isn't a chronological flow to the book, the story jumps from one place in time to another unrelated one, then on to another one, this I find very distracting.
The following excerpt is one of his funnier ones.
I was, I'm telling you for the record, unqualified for the job. I was in deep waters and fast-flowing ones at that. The currents could change at any time, without warning. One day, I attended a chef's committee meeting on the East Side and returned to find the whole menu had been changed back into Italian! This included the listings on the computer, so that when I expedited that evening, I found myself in the unenviable position of having to read off items in Italian, translate them into English in my head, and call them out to my Ecuadorian crew in Spanish. I had to learn some fast mnemonic tricks to keep up, like: 'I want to Lambada - just for the Halibut," so that I would remember that lambatini was Italian for halibut, or 'I fucka you in the liver' to recall that 'fegato' meant liver.