20 Comments


  • Am trying really, really hard to assume that by “horseflesh” you mean riding steeds and not steaks.

    February 26, 2006
  • “Bourdain indulges a little too often in riffs on what a crazy, piratical, drug-scarfing band of reprobates he and his kitchen mates are”

    Having worked in restaurants for 15 years, and half that in the kitchen, I have to disagree. The back-of-the-house *is* like that, most places.

    K.

    February 26, 2006
  • Well, he did spend time in France.

    February 26, 2006
  • Oh, I have no doubt that his descriptions are accurate—they certainly have the ring of truth—after a point it’s just a little dull. Pirates, got it. Liars, got it. Drug addicts, got it.

    February 26, 2006
  • Bourdain does say in the forward that he’s written the book for his fellow kitchen veterans, so what seems repetitive to me may evoke nostalgia in someone who’s been in the trenches.

    February 26, 2006
  • Yeah, I loved that book, and it made me hate Bourdain — how dare he be so talented in TWO realms? It also burned into my brain the dictum never, never, never to order seafood on a Monday.

    February 26, 2006
  • I had the same reaction. Bourdain is impressive to be so talented in so many ways. He really does seem fearless, too.

    February 26, 2006
  • Well, that’s it exactly, really.

    K. [also used to hide stuff in the dropped ceiling over the grill]

    February 26, 2006
  • It isn’t *that* hard to head up the kitchen in a restaurant. At least 75% of it is just showing up.

    K.

    February 26, 2006
  • I suspect natural selection has led to very fleet horses in France.

    February 26, 2006
  • Or horses that don’t go well with vin ordinaire. “Merde! Thees one taste-es like like bratwurts, too!”

    February 27, 2006
  • Perhaps there is now a breed of invisible wild mustangs in the forests and fields of France. Natural selection, and all.

    February 27, 2006
  • Okay there’s a story in that idea. What a nicely evocative image.

    February 27, 2006
  • You obviously speak from experience, but I read that book and more than once thought “I could never do that.” Two things struck me especially as difficult: managing vendors and supply logistics; and managing the other crazies in the kitchen.

    February 27, 2006
  • You learn how to do these things by watching others do them (i.e.: just showing up). Hint for managing the back house staff: don’t give them clipboards. A cook with a clipboard will just milk the clock, and will also think he’s in charge. You probably don’t want either of those things.

    K.

    February 27, 2006
  • I need to read this book. And Laura and I need to finally take for you Egyptian at Ali’s place in Astoria.

    February 27, 2006
  • It’s a fun, fun read. I’m a little surprised you haven’t read it already. We like eating like an Egyptian.

    February 28, 2006
  • It being a food-related book, Laura may not have recommended it to me as strongly as she might a different sort of memoir. But I will certainly find it and eat it.

    Er, read it.

    March 01, 2006
  • Funny you should mention this book. I’m in the middle of it now. I particularly liked his recommendations for kitchen toys. I mean tools.

    I works equally well on the levels of memoir, exposé and collection of sage counsel. He is an excellent writer. I rarely miss his show, No Reservations. Although in its second season, it’s beginning to show signs of growing formulaic.

    March 30, 2006
  • Yes, as I said, I’m pretty impressed with him as a writer. I mean to pick up one of his novels. I’ve never seen his show—I gather it’s on cable? He’s a pretty dissolute looking character.

    March 31, 2006

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