Sunday, October 14, 2007

Week 4: Quote and Summary

"What do you know about meat?" (161)
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

This quote stood out to me because it served as a summary of what Bourdain experienced in the first half of his life: tough luck, foolish mistakes, and unproductive efforts. In this scene he is being interviewed for a steak house as chef, and everything is going swimmingly. He is rattling off all the right answers without flaw. However, as a final question, his potential employer asks him, "What do you know about meat?" but Bourdain misheard it through his thick Scottish accent as replacing "meat" with "me''. In a gamble requiring a little chutzpah, he responded "Next to nothing!" and so blew the interview.
Part 4 Summary:
In part 4, Bourdain goes through three experiences; his mistake at the steakhouse, a period of time spent as chef at a Tuscan business, and a narration of "a day in the life". As I already touched upon the steakhouse experience (see my quote above), i'll continue with the Tuscan business. This was an important point for Bourdain because he learned a lot about what he could do with simple, high quality ingredients in his brief interlude. He also learned more about running a kitchen and operating with upper management-things he carried over into his next section; a day in the life. He simply describes in extensive detail what he is thinking and doing during his shifts at the famous Les Halles restaurant in New York, where he is executive chef.


Tommy T. said...

After reading all of your posts (that have to do with your memoir) I believe you are really looking in to this book. If I read a book about a chef I would have looked at his book like it was some meaningless story. Because as you noted in your latest post, you took his accent into account in the chef's mishearing of the word "meat" and "me". You are looking deep into this book Max, keep it up. Only one thing that I noticed you could improve on, and it was in your latest post, you kind of abruptly ended. I mean I know you aren't writing an essay, so it doesn't need to be perfect, but when I read it I was kind of thinking, "what just happened". But keep up the good work.
-Tommy Tyson
p.s: I love your word choice, 'swimmingly'.

mike k said...

Max, your posts seem to be very insightful and depictive. Your writing makes it sound as if you are really reading the book carefully and analyzing it well. The only error I saw was that you didn't capitalize "i'll", but this website doesn't show spelling errors and beyond that I found no mistakes. Keep up the good work Max.
~Mike Kieper