The Devil in the Kitchen by Marco Pierre White
After finishing The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness, and the Making of a Great Chef, I felt breathless, overwhelmed with the kitchen life similar to the one I left behind. The only difference being the insanity that is Marco Pierre White and his protégé Gordon Ramsey. Most chefs that I have talked to know nothing about the 3 star Michelin chef from England, and my knowledge was limited aside from the book White Heat that I bought a number of years ago after hearing about his reputation. This very well (ghost) written autobiography gave a thorough look into the life of Marco, his colleagues, which included Mario Batali and the now infamous chef TV’s Hell’s Kitchen. I have to admit that after reading this I now completely appreciate Gordon’s mentality on the show and I giggle even more as I recall the stories of his behavior in the book. Instances of jumping customers in the ally way, being pissed on by a dog while making ravioli, and ending up with a tooth lodged in his fist after punching a man, were among the top Ramsey moments while working under Marco. Marco Pierre White was a man whom I had previously assumed was a heroin addict, but was merely an adrenaline junkie with undiagnosed OCD, and a passion for perfection. After 3 marriages, 3 Stars and over 30 restaurants, the culinary great that made kitchen abuse fun, has stepped out of the kitchen and settled into family life after being the first chef ever to hand back his stars upon retiring.
Although more autobiographical than Kitchen Confidential, this man is clearly of the same era, and this book will be appreciated by all fans of the US’s bad boy Anthony Bourdain. You will not be disappointed by any of the restaurant recollections, and will come out with a new found respect for a chef you previously may have only heard of.
Next on Review:
Cooked from the streets to the stove, from cocaine to foie gras. By Jeff Henderson