Thursday, March 10, 2011

Five best chefs' memoirs

At The Daily Beast, Tien Nguyen recommended five addictive books by cooks, including:
Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

In what may be the complete antithesis to Jacques Pepin, Anthony Bourdain writes unabashedly about the hostile, cutthroat competition in the kitchen, complete with expletives, rampant drug use, and sex in the back of the house. Underneath all that testosterone, though, split-second glimpses of Bourdain's vulnerabilities seep through, and transform the book from a hedonistic action-adventure to poignant character study. Threaded between the anecdotes are fascinating insights into the economics of running a restaurant. A book that Bourdain probably thought would deter earnest would-be chefs only fueled a new generation ready to battle for the toque.
Check out the other books on the list.

Read an interview with John Tesar, a chef who appears in Kitchen Confidential under the pseudonym "Jimmy Sears."

Kitchen Confidential is among the Guardian's top ten food books of the last decade, David Kamp's six books notable for their food prose, and Trevor White's ten notable books about dining.

--Marshal Zeringue