Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. I finished my mandatory books for January and high on my wanting to read books from the Rory Gilmore reading challenge was the book by Antony Bourdain.
I have a thing for chefs, cooking, eating and everything. This has to do with the fact I wanted to be a chef when I grew up. Until I was about 13 I had every intention to go to culinary school. Until I found out it was really hard to get into and it just didn’t seem appealing anymore for some reason.
That doesn’t change the fact I still love cooking and baking. During college I even worked as a cook in a Cuban tapas restaurant. It was a very small kitchen. We had a chef, myself and on busy nights a boy for washing the dishes. Along with bar staff and waiters and such. My boyfriend hooked me up with the job as one of the chefs was the bassist in his band. I did mis-en-place, worked the stove, did appetizers, desserts and washing up if needed.
I knew working in a kitchen wasn’t romantic. It’s a tough job, hot, smelly, dirty and a man’s world. You really need to have a thick skin, especially if you are a woman. I mean, the intellectual level of talk in the kitchen is about six feet under and if you aren’t discussing orders or prepping food stuff it basically is all about boobs, dicks and sex. You need to be one of the guys if you want to fit it. You need to be able to lust after the waitresses just as the boys, able to stand in your underwear in order to change into your kitchen uniform in front of the guys and be able to take comments about your ass and boobs. You need to be able to make dirty jokes, talk about booze, wave around heavy and very sharp knives. You need to be able to have your hands and arms splashed by hot oil and not bitch about it. You need to be able handling the bloody finger of your chef before he faints (he looked so pale, but it still gives me the giggles thinking about me fussing and bandaging his finger) You need to be able handling the yelling if you’re not fast enough or screwed up a dish. You need to be able handling the gross stuff in the kitchen (mice droppings and food falling on the ground and being put back into the pan ready for serving). Oh god I really miss it.
I learned a lot during that year and a half I worked there. I know my body now wouldn’t be able to handle it anymore, but reading Anthony Bourdain’s books did bring back so much memories. I enjoyed every minute of it.
The show he has on TV, No Reservations, is really brilliant and I never knew he’d written a book about his culinary adventures growing up and him becoming the chef he is today. I don’t think anything is exaggerated, especially how things in the kitchen go.
If you want to know what goes on inside a kitchen and have a strong stomach, are not afraid of swearing, drug and alcohol abuse and enjoying cooking or knowing more about restaurants, this is the book for you. It’s an easy read, Anthony writes like he talks, a high pace filled with alcohol, smoking and swearing. You will really enjoy this.
He takes you along his youth, what made him passionate about food in the first place, how he ended up working his first job in a restaurant, going to culinary school, his career, ups and downs, his drug abuse (by the way, what I gathered during my time in the kitchen, although I personally didn’t participate, the drugs part is true as well), how he got clean and his act together and pretty much everything else. Until his job at Les Halles, working as the chef.
Have you read this book or other culinary books? Do you enjoy cooking or eating out in restaurants?
Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy