Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bourdain

Having visted two places Anthony Bourdain has been to in Vietnam - You will hear people mentioning the fact. I got reminded of his book Kitchen Confidential. Having read it in early 2019.

Anthony Bourdain takes us through his development as a cook from bottom to top. He shows us how the kitchen in a restaurant operates. On what the staff does. Quirks of the different nationalities present. And the economics of running a successful restaurant.

He had a specific take on innovators:

If I want an opinion from my line cooks, I’ll provide one. Your customers arrive expecting the same dish prepared the same way they had it before; they don’t want some budding Wolfgang Puck having fun with kiwis and coriander with a menu item they’ve come to love.

Following with

Show up at work on time six months in a row and we’ll talk about red curry paste and lemon grass. Until then, I have four words for you: ‘Shut the fuck up.’

The usual most people know such as

If the restaurant can’t be bothered to replace the puck in the urinal or keep the toilets and floors clean, then just imagine what their refrigeration and work spaces look like. Bathrooms are relatively easy to clean.

On why a specific italian does not want other Italians in the kitchen

[…] recently talking about why he – a proud Tuscan who makes his own pasta and sauces from scratch daily and runs one of the best restaurant kitchens in New York – would never be so foolish as to hire any Italians to cook on his line. He greatly prefers Ecuadorians, as many chefs do: ‘The Italian guy? You screaming at him in the rush, “Where’s that risotto?! Is that fucking risotto ready yet? Gimme that risotto!” … and the Italian … he’s gonna give it to you … An Ecuadorian guy? He’s gonna just turn his back … and stir the risotto and keep cooking it until it’s done the way you showed him. That’s what I want.’

And some general pieces of knowledge:

Loved the book. Caveat: I’m into cooking.