Craft By Zen

Curation / Library / Kitchen Confidential

Book cover for Kitchen Confidential
Book cover for Kitchen Confidential
Author: Anthony Bourdain
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First Read:

If you enjoy eating at restaurants, don’t read this book before you eat at one. It may make you feel bad. But this book is really important to my understanding of the fame around Anthony Bourdain, particularly why he’s so goddamn famous. The Food Network loved this book so much, they gave Bourdain his own show called “No Reservations” where he went around the word to eat at various locations. The reason he’s so famous now is that he gets the lifestyle everyone wants; he gets paid to eat and critique. Here’s the thing though, this book is before that era and describes his upbringing, his hardships in the restaurant gig, and he’s eventual success in that domain. It describes someone in their craft and love for their job and how they grow into that role, which was not innate but from shear brute force over years of being on the line. There’s another book I highly recommend called ”Life, on the Line” by Grant Achatz who describes his time being a line cook as well. There’s this common thread where you work your ass off being in the position that you get to as head chef, and it’s horrifically difficult. But I want to adopt this drive and try and figure out how that can apply to my life. If it wasn’t for this period in my life, I probably wouldn’t be as fascinated at this. But I love someone who has their craft down and can still learn something, as when Bourdain describes his first time eating in Tokyo by the end of this book. A film I highly recommend about food craft is ”Jiro Dream of Sushi“.