So when I floated the idea of a chef apprenticeship my friend who was to go on to become my first head chef told me to read a book called Kitchen Confidential. If I liked it I should become a chef. I loved it and promptly signed my life away.
Kitchen Confidential was written by the recently departed Anthony Bourdain. He was one of the OG bad boy chefs and Kitchen Confidential was his story. He told it like it was. The gore the grit and what the rules were. I took it seriously, particularly the bit about tough gritty female line cooks. He spoke about the hot sweaty loud realness of service and what it means to do service every day.
Every job I took, every shift I did I took that attitude with me. I still do even though I don’t cook in commercial kitchens anymore. The pride of being one of ‘them’. There is a Bourdain quote out there I can’t quite find right now about the difference between chefs and non chefs/diners that’s the truest thing ever written. As I get older his description of aches, pains, scars, burns and the creaks of being a chef rings true as well. Even though I’m technically front of house now I will always in my heart be a chef.
I don’t have any culinary idols. No ones style I’d like to replicate. Bourdain was the closest I got. I didn’t even want to cook like him, I just wanted to be that dang cool. To be able to steer the pirate ship and make it to the other side in one piece. I also think he’s where I got the idea being a foodie was a shit idea. Be a normal person eating real food. Try all the things.
In any case if it wasn’t for Anthony Bourdain and his real as fuck book I wouldn’t have bought my ticket to get on this ride. Wouldn’t have met my husband and some of the best people I know, and I wouldn’t be married with 2 kids. So thanks Chef. Thanks for everything.