Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Kitchen Confidential

So I’m still on a cooking kick (okay, I’m ALWAYS on a cooking kick, but more so than usual) that is not being helped by the lingering cold. I just finished reading Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. He is a great writer and the book, while a little repetitive towards the middle, was a very enjoyable read. What I took away from it is that while I would probably make a pretty good chef from a working point of view, I should NEVER open a restaurant because I would open a restaurant for all the reasons that he claims result in utter failure. 1) I am “passionate” about cooking and food, not business (a restaurant owner needs to be passionate about business first and foremost). 2) I just think it would be a hoot to open a patisserie and name it La Belle Aurore, just like in Casablanca, one of my favorite movies. According to Bourdain, many have tried this same variation of theme and failed on an epic scale because a snappy gimmick does not a successful menu make. I am currently reading Bourdain’s A Cook’s Tour and it is even better than Kitchen Confidential. He really came into his own as a writer in this book, in my opinion. In a way, it’s a lot like Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, if Gilbert had just stayed in Italy, got rid of her angst and instead got addicted to drugs, and didn’t whine all the damn time. I am really enjoying it. I’m not sure I could eat a soft-boiled duck embryo or stewed calf’s head, but if it were well prepared and looked to be relatively parasite free, I’d probably try it, just because he did. I’m sure I’ll be finished reading it in no time and I’ll have to update with a full review then. In the meantime, I’m trying to come up with a list of the culinary epiphanies of my life. Hopefully, I can share them both at the same time.

I also want to offer my prayers and thoughts into the world to Haiti and those affected by yesterday’s horrific earthquake. I just read that the capital, Port au Prince, is in utter ruin. For a country to have been through so much just to suffer this is devastating. God be with them and may they find comfort and recover as quickly as possible, insh’allah.

Ways to help:
International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti: or text yele to 501501 and $5 will be charged to your cell bill
American Red Cross: Text HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10, also charged to your cell bill

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