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Kitchen Confidential (2005 TV Series) Review

Updated on November 24, 2011

On Anthony Bourdain

First, let me tell you about how I got into the book Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, the book that this TV show I'm about to talk about is based on.

I have finished the book but I didn't actually read it. I listened to it through audiobook. I always have a hard time with saying that because it's sort of weird to tell people that "I've listened to the whole book" as opposed to reading it. Looking for the audiobook is actually what lead me to discover that there was a TV series based on it. In fact, the main character in the TV show, played by Bradley Cooper is named "Jack Bourdain". I was really surprised to find out that there was a TV show (I'm really into movies and TV shows) and was wondering why it didn't really become popular.

I've also finished listening to his newest book Medium Raw before all this, actually. I do know that he has a way with writing. I've even heard some argue that he is a better writer than a chef (this is highly disputable, I'm sure).

In season 6 episode 18 of his hit TV show No Reservations, they showed a flashback of how it all happened, like where he started and all. The episode was righteously entitled "Where It All Began". It showed Bourdain in his old restaurant, very thin, looking and acting very different from his much mature self now. In the episode, they discussed the success of his first book Kitchen Confidential and how controversial it became and how it lead to him making a TV show. It's really quite interesting and so I figured I'll go look for an audiobook. And then I found out that there was a TV series. I didn't really care much at first but then the other day, I think, I couldn't think of anything to watch and so I figured out that I might just give this show a try.

In an interview in the Huffington Post, he says he has "strong libertarian instincts". Surely, this is something that adds to the appeal of why I like his shows/books. Although he seems to be much of a social democrat, he does express a lot of libertarian ideas most especially in No Reservations. For example, in their Cuba episode, he expressed that he abhors communism or even that time when he was in Ukraine with Zamir Gotta where he expressed that he "loves free market capitalism".

Anyway, I'm slowly moving away from the topic again. So let's move on and talk about the TV show Kitchen Confidential.

Kitchen Confidential
Kitchen Confidential

Kitchen Confidential TV show

The show is very light. It's really such an opposite of most shows I watch. Taken into consideration that the show was made in 2005, I do find that there is something lacking in the humor, that it is too dated, and this is something that contributed to why it didn't really take off as expected. The comedy style is just too slapstick.

Of course, being a fan of Anthony Bourdain, and having read (or listened to) the book, I understand the TV show in spite of this lacking factor I am looking for. And so I do still like it. I am entertained, still, but I am just assuming that this is a factor in why it didn't evolve into a popular show. Seriously, this show had a lot of potential. It has a lot of good premises that could have been developed but somehow I do feel that it kept on trying to have this "sex and the city" vibe (understandable thought because it is from the same makers thereof).

Humor is very subjective though. It's really a matter of personal preference. I guess my taste in humor is just different and it is for everyone. But the fact that the show wasn't renewed for a new season then maybe a lot of people would be agreeing with me.

Regardless of all this, I still wish that there were more than the 13 episodes that I've already watched. I really am attached to Anthony Bourdain and even included him to my list of people who I wish will never die. The show is much like taking a peek into his old life and it's really so interesting.

Kitchen Confidential Opening Intro Video

Kitchen Confidential DVD and Book

As I have said, the audiobook is available for purchase online and so is the ebook. it would be nice to check out the book first before watching the series. I've already mentioned many times that I cannot promote the illegal acquisition of things like this so I would just say that go buy the DVD and watch it.

If you like Anthony Bourdain's books and you like his show No Reservations then you will surely be entertained by this TV series and will be wanting more after the first and only season with only thirteen episodes.


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