Rediscover: Kitchen Confidential

Culinary adventurer Anthony Bourdain's food travelogue Parts Unknown returned for its 11th season Sunday night on CNN. This is the itinerant gourmand's fourth such series, after the Travel Channel's No Reservations (2005–2012) and The Layover (2011–2013), and the Food Network's A Cook's Tour (2002-2003). Prior to TV stardom, Bourdain earned his chops as the bestselling author of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (Bloomsbury), his darkly funny memoir about life behind the stove. With scalding wit and honesty, he relates his road to becoming a chef and his hectic, often drug-fueled work in high-end New York City kitchens during the 1980s as well as shares inside restaurateur tips, like not to order fish on Monday (it's leftover from the weekend) and never order steak well done (overcooking masks low-quality cuts).

In 2011, Bourdain peeled his celebrity chefdom into his own imprint under Ecco, which has published books by chefs, musicians, athletes and others. Bourdain's own literary career has continued since Kitchen Confidential with A Cook's Tour (2001), The Nasty Bits (2006), No Reservations (2007), Medium Raw (2010) and Appetites: A Cookbook (2016). Bourdain wrote several fiction books in the 1990s prior to Kitchen Confidential and returned to that genre in 2012 as co-author of the graphic novel Get Jiro! for DC Comics/Vertigo. Another co-authored comic, Hungry Ghosts, comes out this October. An updated edition of Kitchen Confidential was last published in 2007 by Ecco ($16.99, 9780060899226). --Tobias Mutter

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