If you never been a professional cook/ chef, the following may be just a story , an
introduction to an awesome book .. but the truth is that most of the cooks and chefs we know will identify with his thinking and pass through the same emotions, of the professional cooking job.
A NOTE FROM THE CHEF
DON’T GET ME WRONG: I love the restaurant business. Hell, I’m still in the restaurant business-a lifetime, classically trained chef who, an hour from now, will probably be roasting bones for demi-glace and butchering beef tenderloins in a cellar prep kitchen on lower Park Avenue.
I’m not spilling my guts about everything I’ve seen, learned and done in my long and checkered career as dishwasher, prep drone, fry cook, grillardin, saucier, sous-chef and chef because I’m angry at the business, or because I want to horrify the dining public. I’d still like to be a chef, too, when this thing comes out, as this life is the only life I really know. If I need a favor at four o’clock in the morning, whether it’s a quick loan, a shoulder to cry on, a sleeping pill, bail money, or just someone to pick me up in a car in a bad neighborhood in the driving rain, I’m definitely not calling up a fellow writer. I’m calling my sous-chef, or a former sous-chef, or my saucier, someone I work with or have worked with over the last twenty-plus years.
No, I want to tell you about the dark recesses of the restaurant underbelly-a subculture whose centuries-old militaristic hierarchy and ethos of ‘rum, buggery and the lash’ make for a mix of unwavering order and nerve-shattering chaos-because I find it all quite comfortable, like a nice warm bath. I can move around easily in this life. I speak the language. In the small, incestuous community of chefs and cooks in New York City, I know the people, and in my kitchen, I know how to behave (as opposed to in real life, where I’m on shakier ground). I want the professionals who read this to enjoy it for what it is: a straight look at a life many of us have lived and breathed for most of our days and nights to the exclusion of ‘normal’ social interaction. Never having had a Friday or Saturday night off, always working holidays, being busiest when the rest of the world is just getting out of work, makes for a sometimes peculiar world-view, which I hope my fellow chefs and cooks will recognize. The restaurant lifers who read this may or may not like what I’m doing. But they’ll know I’m not lying.
I want the readers to get a glimpse of the true joys of making really good food at a professional level. I’d like them to understand what it feels like to attain the child’s dream of running one’s own pirate crew-what it feels like, looks like and smells like in the clatter and hiss of a big city restaurant kitchen. And I’d like to convey, as best I can, the strange delights of the language, patois and death’s-head sense of humor found on the front lines. I’d like civilians who read this to get a sense, at least, that this life, in spite of everything, can be fun”.
“Kitchen Confidential / Adventure in the culinary underbelly” Anthony Bourdain