63/365 Movies & 11/52 Books: Kitchen Confidential:
About a month ago I was in London and decided to go to my favourite bookshop shop, it doesn’t have a name but it’s in Notting Hill and if you like the bookshop experience, don’t go here but if you like chaos or you want to read and don’t know what to read, go here. Like I said, it doesn’t have a name, but their slogan is “we’ll buy anything… anything” and it has evidently got out of control, they have 10 shops in Notting hill alone, just to store all of there stuff, it is also run by eccentrics, because the first time I went there there was an American girl in the basement who has OCD or something and had to leave the shop because it was so messy and the music they were playing? Death Metal at full volume in a bookshop? I’ve seen this book before and wasn’t really that interested, but the ambiance of this shop got me and I ended up buying it. I later regretted it because I have no interest in food but thought “fuck it, these books only take a few days to read” So begrudgingly read it.
And Whoa! What a journey. It’s not particularly a junkie chef book as it is sold as (with a picture of him sweating and holding a giant chef knife on the front page)but it was an interesting story of how it is in the kitchens of New York & the world, I recently read Down and Out in Paris and London which this book is evidently based on and that was some vile and disgusting stuff, but in this book, it shows how that still goes on in the modern age, as well as most chef’s being ailed by drugs and money and how most owners are so out of control that they go bankrupt and chefs take advantage of this fact, when he ran his own kitchen the first time one of his rituals was to pour loads of spirits (vodka and gin, not the dead kind) on the pass, play the opening theme from Apocalypses Now on the radio and set fire to the alcohol whilst strutting round the kitchen like a bad ass… that restaurant went bankrupt. There are also some wild characters in the story also, someone who got arrested and jailed for something and refused to rt on the mob, the mob rewarded him with a restuarnt and guess who he hired as head chef? Yep, between the angry drug addict and the owner who’d developed a mental condition in jail thins get out of hand its a wild ride and although he doesn’t say so, it sounds like the owner got popped (Y’know what I mean) and Anthony had a lucky escape. There was also a character that was called Mr Real-Name-Unknown, they new his first name but it’s been a while since I read this and I’m not good with names. Anyway, he was an out of control nut job that would come go on 3 day coke binges and have huge bust ups with everyone and when everything got too out of control he would change his name, write a fake CV (reseme I think you call it in the US) and then start the whole process of self destruction again. Hi only redeeming feature was that he was the best bread maker in New York. Apparently he went missing and one day Anthony turned the TV on and saw him baking on Letterman but know body knows who he really was (evidently an illegal immigrant, do you think it could be Gordon Ramsey before the fame? He’s suppose to be Scottish… I don’t believe that though) There was also a time when he nearly got an $85,000 a year job in a steak house which kind of explained the madness.
Over all of this wildness though the cooking community is portraied as a place where outsiders and freaks can find a place in life and the only thing that they needed to do was commit and want to learn how to be a good cook and they would have the chefs loyalty for life. I wish people in the real world would put character over all the superficial shit and be loyal instead of just brushing you off for insignificances.