I read Kitchen Confidential back in 2010 during a particularly low point in my life, the only time I’ve contemplated quitting music. My flight out of SeaTac was delayed just long enough to stop by the Hudson Booksellers, and for whatever reason I picked up Bourdain’s memoir.
I devoured Kitchen Confidential in a day, re-read it five or six times that month. For where I was at, Bourdain's tone was spot on: darkly humorous, equal parts cynical and idealistic, irreverent and respectful. Above all, it was honest. He’d fucked up a lot. I, in my mind, had also fucked up a lot (though not with heroin and, in actuality, not really at all). His life hadn’t followed the script he'd hoped for, and neither had mine. But his story was captivating, and shared with disarming eloquence.
Kitchen Confidential inspired me to write myself into my own narrative. I'd tried achieving some facsimile of conventional success with dismal results - maybe just being my bizarre, off-kilter self was enough and, in fact, the whole point?