I just finished reading Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. I first encountered Bourdain through the short-lived but excellent sitcom by the same title. Then I experienced him through his Food Network show No Reservations.

When I read his memoir, I keep hearing his voice while he narrates on his cable show. The events he relate mirror much of what went on the sitcom, especially the characters. The sitcom, however, downplays the roles of the latino staff in the kitchen, a group that Bourdain lauds in the book for their professionalism and expertise.

The part I like best was his narrative in Tokyo, visiting some of the places I went to myself. (He describes Tokyo as a sprawl, a term I finally understand).

I understand the two-star Bourdain in context of Yakitate! Japan, the baking anime. He would be the blond Osaka guy, whose motivation is purely ambition. Bourdain himself extolls a Scott Bryan, a three-star chef who valued excellence over money. Bryan would be Azuma Kazuma. <–