I am often amazed by people can do multiple things well. No, I’m not talking about chewing gum and walking (although, for some people I know, that can be quite an accomplishment). I mean, big skills, things that require talent and some form of dedication. For instance, athletes who are successful in both their sport of choice as well as some other discipline, like writing or music.

Anthony Bourdain is someone who impresses me in that way.

An accomplished chef, and executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in New York City, Bourdain is also a successful writer. He’s published crime stories, nonfiction historical accounts, and a series of memoirs: Kitchen Confidential, A Cook’s Tour, The Nasty Bits, and No Reservations, all of which detail his history in the kitchens of New York City and his travels (and travails) since.

I’m halfway through Kitchen Confidential right now, and I have to say that man is an impressive writer. He’s engaging, witty, and knows when to expand or wrap up a story. He’s got a good grip on the basics of writing (which is more than I can say for Dan Brown), avoiding cliches and other marks of the amateur. His crass and brutally honest manner of relaying a story has me laughing out loud.

If you haven’t read any Bourdain, you should try some – especially if you are at all interested in food, in dining, in the culinary arts. He’s more than worth the time.

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