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The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness, and the Making of a Great Chef
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The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness, and the Making of a Great Chef

3.9 33
by Marco Pierre White
 

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Without question, the original rock-star chef is Marco Pierre White. Anyone with even a passing interest in the food world knows White is a legend. The first British chef (and the youngest chef anywhere) to win three Michelin stars - and also the only chef ever to give them all back - is a chain-smoking, pot-throwing multiply- married culinary genius whose fierce

Overview

Without question, the original rock-star chef is Marco Pierre White. Anyone with even a passing interest in the food world knows White is a legend. The first British chef (and the youngest chef anywhere) to win three Michelin stars - and also the only chef ever to give them all back - is a chain-smoking, pot-throwing multiply- married culinary genius whose fierce devotion to food and restaurants has been the only constant in a life of tabloid-ready turmoil. In The Devil in the Kitchen White tells the story behind his ascent from working-class roots to culinary greatness, leaving no dish unserved as he relays raucus and revealing tales featuring some of the biggest names in the food world and beyond, including: Mario Batali, Gordon Ramsay, Albert Roux, Raymond Blanc, Michael Caine, Damien Hirst, and even Prince Charles. With candid honesty and wicked humor, he gives us insight into what it takes to become a great chef, what it's like to run a 3-star kitchen, and why sometimes you really do need to throw a cheese plate at the wall.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A moving, unaffected, delightfully honest book. At times it's almost sweet. The culinary memoir it most recalls is, of all things, Jacques Pepin's "Apprentice." Like Pepin, White grew up in a family that had little but appreciation of good food. And like "the apprentice," white's book has early moments of heartbreaking privation and loss that give way to happy momentum-a dawning on the protagonist's part and eventually, on that of his bosses, peers and public, that he is perpetually gifted at cooking...Even as White recounts these tales, though he does so without sensationalism or self-congratulation...he may have been one of the most disagreeable bastards ever to command a kitchen brigade, but in the same guileless, unfiltered way in which he cursed out sous-chefs, he's told one hell of a story.” —David Kamp, New York Times Book Review

“Marco will always remain the epitome of the wicked, talented, flamboyant chef--the archetype made flesh. And really, would we want him any other way?” —Independent

“There hasn't been a food memoir this deliciously wicked since Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential"...but White's story ultimately proves more compelling because he's willing to expose his flaws instead of hiding behind cynicism. And I learned more about what it's like to cook in a restaurant kitchen than from any other book I've read.” —Portland Oregonian

“The original enfant terrible of the kitchen….One can feel White's influence not only in his gastronomic legacy, but also in the wild-boy posturing of the volatile celebrity chefs who now populate our televisions.” —Guardian

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596914971
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
05/27/2008
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
102,634
Product dimensions:
5.46(w) x 8.12(h) x 0.76(d)

Meet the Author

Marco Pierre White was born in Leeds in 1961. After training in Britain's finest kitchens, he opened Harveys, which earned two Michelin stars and was London's most talked-about restaurant. From there, he went on to win a third star and build a gastronomic empire that includes many of the most acclaimed restaurants in the U.K. In 1999, he retired from the kitchen and handed back his Michelin stars, but he maintains his presence in the culinary world with Luciano and the Frankie's restaurants, among others. He lives in West London with his wife, Mati, and their three children. He also has a daughter by his first wife.

As a gossip columnist in the late eighties, James Steen phoned Harveys to speak with Marco Pierre White. A Maitre d' answered the phone and ranted on in a strong French accent about how White was "a monster, a crazy man, a lunatic to work for." The "matre d'," it transpired was White. The relationship went from there.

Steen, a freelance journalist, lives a short stroll from what was once Harveys, with his wife Louise, and three children, Charlie, Billy, and Daisy.

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Devil in the Kitchen 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
mfw741 More than 1 year ago
this book gives you the background of what it takes to be a good chef and the struggles of mr. white's life to get there. enjoyed reading it from beginning to end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had the pleasure of meeting the ¿rock star chef¿ at a reading in NYC and he does not disappoint. He is deliciously salty and it is no wonder he has garnered the reputation that he has. Marco¿s love and respect for food is absolute. He is a dying breed. The majority of today¿s celebrity chefs are not in their kitchens at all, but orchestrating them from afar and that distance results in the sacrifice of the preparation, cooking, presentation and passion. On that note, as illuminating as it was to learn about his rise as a 3 stared Michelin chef, the second half of the book rambled on and seemed more like an opportunity for Marco to make peace with the conflicting moments in his past with people, places and things. Making peace is very cathartic but in this case, not the best reading. Thanks Marco for signing my book and for your cooking tips¿ I appreciate your comment about the obligatory use of pepper by most cooks to seasons their dishes- just plain wrong and for the advice on cooking vegetables, my broccoli is Spring incarnate.
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An amazing read, getting to know more about a great chef and phenomenal sounding food!
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Marco Pierre White may be a terrific chef, but he is obviously no storyteller or writer. His co-author and editor were no help either. Virtually every chapter had the same scenario: he starts at a new restaurant and that is when he really and truly becomes a chef. Tedious and boring. Jacques Pepin's and Anthony Bourdain's memoirs were far superior.
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