domenica 21 aprile 2013






Anthony Michael Bourdain (born June 25, 1956) is an American chef, author, and television personality. He is well-known for his 2000 book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, and hosts the Travel Channel's culinary and cultural adventure programs Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and The Layover. In 2013, he joined CNN to host Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.

A 1978 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a veteran of numerous professional kitchens, Bourdain was a chef-at-large, whose home base was Brasserie Les Halles, New York

Anthony Bourdain was born in New York City, to Gladys and Pierre Bourdain (d. 1987). He grew up in Leonia, New Jersey, and attended the Dwight-Englewood School. Bourdain's paternal grandparents were French; his paternal grandfather emigrated from Arcachon to New York following World War I. Bourdain's mother worked for The New York Times as a staff editor. Bourdain graduated from Englewood School for Boys in 1973 and attended Vassar College before dropping out after two years; he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978.

Kitchen Confidential is an honest and provocative non-fiction account of chef Anthony Bourdain’s experiences within the restaurant industry. While it is often the head chef or owner who receives most of the glory in the restaurant world, Bourdain instead focuses this book on the more behind-the-scenes aspects of professional cooking. Kitchen Confidential is comprised of six sections: Appetizer, First Course, Second Course, Third Course, Dessert, and Coffee and a Cigarette. The titles of these sections are references to different courses of a meal, which is done to equate the “consumption” of this book to being served a meal.
The book’s sections alternate between a non-fiction narrative--comprised of influential moments within the author’s life as a chef--and commentary on the restaurant industry.

Extract from Kitchen Confidential, second course.

I never order fish on Monday, unless I'm eating at a four-star restaurant where I know they are buying their fish directly from the source. I know how old most seafood is on Monday - about four to five days old!

I don't eat mussels in restaurants unless I know the chef, or have seen, with my own eyes, how they store and hold their mussels for service. I love mussels. But, in my experience, most cooks are less than scrupulous in their handling of them. It takes only a single bad mussel, one treacherous little guy hidden among an otherwise impeccable group ... If I'm hungry for mussels, I'll pick the good-looking ones out of your order.

Brunch menus are an open invitation to the cost-conscious chef, a dumping ground for the odd bits left over from Friday and Saturday nights. How about hollandaise sauce? Not for me. Bacteria love hollandaise. And nobody I know has ever made hollandaise to order. And how long has that Canadian bacon been festering in the walk-in? Remember, brunch is only served once a week - on the weekends. Cooks hate brunch. Brunch is punishment block for the B-Team cooks, or where the farm team of recent dishwashers learn their chops. [...........

Beef Parmentier? Shepherd's pie? Chilli special? Sounds like leftovers to me. How about swordfish? I like it fine. But my seafood purveyor, when he goes out to dinner, won't eat it. He's seen too many of those 3ft-long parasitic worms that riddle the fish's flesh. You see a few of these babies - and we all do - and you won't be tucking into swordfish anytime soon.

'Saving for well-done' is a time-honoured tradition dating back to cuisine's earliest days. What happens when the chef finds a tough, slightly skanky end-cut of sirloin that's been pushed repeatedly to the back of the pile? He can throw it out, but that's a total loss. He can feed it to the family, which is the same as throwing it out. Or he can 'save for well-done': serve it to some rube who prefers his meat or fish incinerated into a flavourless, leathery hunk of carbon.

Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food. Oh, I'll accommodate them, I'll rummage around for something to feed them. Fourteen dollars for a few slices of grilled eggplant (aubergine) and zucchini (courgette) suits my food cost fine.

Ingredients that mark out restaurant food:

Essential for sauces, dressings, sautés. [.......

Roasted garlic
Garlic is divine. Misuse of garlic is a crime. Old garlic, burnt garlic, garlic cut too long ago, garlic that has been smashed through one of those abominations, the garlic press, are all disgusting. Sliver it for pasta, like you saw in Goodfellas. Smash it with the flat of your knife blade. And try roasting garlic. It gets mellow and sweeter if you roast it whole, to be squeezed out later when it's soft and brown.

Chiffonaded parsley
Restaurants garnish their food. Why shouldn't you? Dip the sprigs in cold water, shake off excess, allow to dry for a few minutes, and slice the stuff, as thinly as you can, with that sexy new chef's knife. 

Fresh herbs
A nice sprig of chervil on your chicken breast? A basil top decorating your pasta? A few artfully scattered chive sticks over your fish? A mint top nestled in a dollop of whipped cream, maybe rubbing up against a single raspberry? Come on! Get in the game!

Good food is often simple food. Some of the best cuisine in the world - whole roasted fish, Tuscan-style, for instance - is a matter of three or four ingredients. Just make sure they're good ingredients, fresh ingredients, and then garnish them.

Example: here's a dish I used to serve at a highly-regarded two-star joint in New York. I got 32 bucks an order for it and could barely keep enough in stock, people liked it so much.

Take one fish - a red snapper, striped bass, or dorade - have your fish guy remove gills, guts and scales and wash in cold water. Rub inside and out with kosher salt and crushed black pepper. Jam a clove of garlic, a slice of lemon and a few sprigs of fresh herb - say, rosemary and thyme - into the cavity where the guts used to be. Place on a lightly oiled pan or foil and throw the fish into a very hot oven. Roast till crispy and cooked through. Drizzle a little basil oil over the plate - you know, the stuff you made with your blender and put in your new plastic squeeze bottle? - sprinkle with chiffonaded parsley, garnish with basil... See?


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