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lanewillson

lanewillson

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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly - Anthony Bourdain Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain made me recall my first escargot. Having occurred only once in the first half century of my life, it stands out as the only culinary risk I took of my own free will. Bravery played no role in my decision, as my ignorance was blocking it out. We were in Montreal so that dad could represent the Volunteer State spirit at an international gathering of Kiwanians. This obviously called for a gourmet dining experience. In the midst of the 1970’s etiquette did not require us to wear ties, but I believe we donned our Sunday-go-to meeting leisure suits out of respect for the culture that was about to expand our horizons. When in Quebec do as the Quebecians would do, and thus the stage of the adventure was a French restaurant, and escargot was the appetizer.Texture far more than taste is the determining factor in my liking or disdaining what I eat, and to me the escargot had the same feel as shrimp. They were also smothered in butter and garlic which I love. In the middle of my third escargot I was given its translation from French to English, and I learned I was eating snails. The battle line was now drawn between my taste buds and my primordial instinct to hurl. There was no turning back. Reading Kitchen Confidential was déjà vu of my escargot night in Montreal. Bourdain’s work started by carpet bombing the reader with “F bombs” which instantly made it impossible to defend oneself from the intolerant bigotry that followed. The only redeeming quality in Mr. Bourdain’s clichéd prejudice is that there is not a single ethnic/religious/racial group that escaped his ire. The palate for his masterpiece was a combination of cursing, foul mouthed, sexually inappropriate, chauvinistic spew of metered contempt that would have made Tupac Shakur and Dennis Miller proud. The crescendo came in the chapter A Day in the Life. All of this was laid on a foundation of love for cooking and the life of a restaurateur. Like the escargot affair it was too late to turn back.His rhythm, tone, and honesty created a seductive literary gravity that would not allow escape. So much so that I realized only after I finished the book that I don’t possess even the most rudimentary kitchen knowledge to have any idea what the man was saying about cooking! [bc:Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly|33313|Kitchen Confidential Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly|Anthony Bourdain|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348988611s/33313.jpg|4219]