The Devil in the Kitchen is a truly entertaining book and one I read over the course of two days, because I found it hard to put down White's anecdotes paint him to be something wavering between a mad genius and a miserable narcissist, but they make for a great read Though he didn't come across as the sort of person I'd want to be friends with exactly (to be fair, he wouldn't want to be friends with a vegetarian like me either, I suspect), it was enjoyable to read about someone who is so truly passionate about what he does.Findreviews and bookish fun at You've achieved your life's dream at age 33 Now what? It's a problem few of us even think about, let alone encounter It's the problem Chef Marco White faced in 1995 The choices he made at that point were, like his life, unusual and courageous.DEVIL IN THE KITCHEN is Marco White's memoir It's the story of a boy from a financially strapped working class home in Leeds It chronicles the distress of a boy who lost his mother at age 6, who feared the loss of his father from terminal cancer four years later, who was estranged from his father in late adolescence and who floundered through two unsuccessful marriages and nearly a dozen irretrievably damaged relationships in pursuit of his dream.Much of his story follows an established template long hours, grueling work, physical discomfort, verbal abuse, sleep deprivation and unremitting pressure Both physically and mentally, White focuses on his career as if waging a battle campaign It is no accident that he gets his culinary training on the job, moving from one Michelin starred restaurant to the next At his two star restaurant, Harvey's, he recounts cringeworthy anecdotes which reflect a manic obsession for perfectionism that make Hell's Kitchen's Gordon Ramsay seem like he is on tranquilizers by comparison.For a chef's memoir, the book touches on food in a cursory way Chef White does, however, reflect on the grandeur of the Escoffier tradition White got his start at the Hotel St George, and his appreciation of the “Grand Hotel” era echos the admiration for Chef Paul Bocuse evident in KNIVES AT DAWN White has a keen appreciation of history He contrasts early on the differences between the era of his youth and the present Diners then were much less sophisticated, and the experimentation we have come to take for granted grew out of a few gradual experiments by chefs considered radical in their day This was especially true in Britain, where comfort food like Toad in the Hole was both expected and ubiquitous Chef White is not an introspective man Behind all of his stories, we sense the pervasive influence of British class distinctions When Prince Charles mistakenly believes he is French (his full name is Marco Pierre White) it is a social miscue that triggers redfaced embarrassment on the prince's part It's hard for an American to think of such a situation as anything other than merely funny While denying that he envied the rich and famous in his youth, one can't help but wonder if young Marco didn't envy their sense of belonging The contrast between his ambitions and his upbringing constantly seemed to make him an outsider in any group At Harvey's, Chef White's almost sadistic treatment of offending restaurant patrons seems not unlike summary evictions from the perfectfit world he is attempting to create for himself As the book ends, Chef White has decided to give up his Michelin stars and leave the kitchen The new chapter in his life anticipates business ventures and publicity stints – a less stressful route than his demanding kitchen routine Hopefully, he declares: “The process of writing this book helped me to leave behind the baggage that was weighing me down and allowed me to move forward with my life I like to think that I've developed, for the best.” Despite recent setbacks, the reader hopes as much for him as well Look at the portraits of him by Bob Carlos Clarke on the web and you will see a charismatic intensity that commands at least interest, if not admiration. OOooh, he's such a nasty boy I think I might like to have him cook for me, but I wouldn't want to know him in any other context I wouldn't want to be his wife and I sure as hell wouldn't want to work for him.I understand that to some degree a mercurial, selfconfident demeanor is a job requirement for being a Michelin3starcaliber chef but White comes off as a 5star jerk He's very quick to quote positive reviews and people who bolster his image as a sexgod MickJaggerofthekitchen I daresay there are probably four times as many exwives, exgirlfriends, exemployers and exemployees who would not be so willing to burnish his selfimage Funny, we don't seem to hear from *any* of them in this selflovefest.He's had an interesting life and a remarkable career, and he has a compelling story to tell You just get the sense that there's a lot he's left out like anything that would cast him in the unflattering light he likely deserves. I liked this book.it was unpretentious, wellcrafted and interesting If this sounds like I'm damning it with faint praise I kinda am.Marco White is the selfdescribed first celebrity chef aka rock star chef he made great sacrifices to gain three Michelin Guide stars for one of his restaurants and is clearly passionate about high cuisine It comes across and is compelling At the end of the day this did not transcend the genre.i.e a memoir by someone at the top of their field Nothing really remains at the end.he got his stars, he was kind of an asshole at times (kicking bores out of his dining hall is a recurring theme) and then he retired He also had sex a few times I think what hinders the greatness of this book is a lack of selfdoubt which is truly incredible to witness but trends the overall affect of this book to the average You can admire his amazing achievement (try to make sense of the recipes in the back) but are left with a portrait of a damaged man.unappealing for his absence of love and humanity Still this was a good read.fun for people into the kitchen I think though for punters like us Heat by Bill Buford is the top of the heap. Silly as it sounds, I started reading this book after watching Marco Pierre White in action on Masterchef Professionals I know precious little about fine dining, but I liked the man from what I saw, and thought that a book about his life would be interesting.I was halfright The book begins beautifully In fact, the first half was one of the best autobiographies I’d read about how a young boy from very humble beginnings started a life and built a career in the culinary scene in England It was honest without being sappy, insightful without being too detailladen I thoroughly enjoyed it.Unfortunately, it went off the rail for me thereafter I felt like Mr White had a list of incidents (mostly reported in the press) that he felt the need to explain or address Fair enough, but I’m not sure this was the place to do it The book’s flow vanished completely, and became a series of reactions and recounting of specific scenes or words exchanged I wasn’t interested and eventually, got quite bored.I come out of this read still greatly respecting the man he’s obviously a legend in the world of chefs But I think his editor did him a disservice in the second half The first half is good enough that I’d recommend you read it anyway but be ready for a disappointing change some way in. By the end of this book, Marco is neither a devil nor in the kitchen, but you do understand why he once was both Undeniably a difficult character, the autobiography goes some way to explaining the drive and motivations behind the man and I did wonder if a couple of therapy sessions had added to some of thereflective and selfanalytical passages On the other hand, selective amnesia is often also in evidence especially when concerning business or personal relationships, although he does resist having a malicious swipe at those involved, perhaps an acknowledgment of his part in the downfalls There is no doubt he inspired and changed a generation of chefs and drove himself to the edge of physical and mental breakdown in trying to achieve a perfection that would bring some sense of inner satisfaction, but you are left in no doubt that the person he wanted to please most of all died when he was too young to impress her The ghost of Marco's mother is a constant presence in his life, and as he recounts the ups and downs of his career you feel that inner peace is something that he's always struggled and is still struggling to find As an autobiography, this is quite a revealing and straightforward book but also entertaining and especially evocative of Eighties London Recommended. 3.5 Wow, this is a tough one to rate On the one hand, it's an autobiography (ghostwritten) of a charismatic, narcissistic, volatile, wildlytalented chef On the other hand, it's an autobiography of a charismatic, narcissistic, volatile, wildlytalented chef The story is entertaining, mostly compelling, and there's a good deal of culinary and kitchen life But the further you read, theyou notice how much has been left out and how just about every anecdote comes padded in justification, righteousness or plea for understanding How often the word friend appears when namedropping, yet in the end seems a concept perhaps utterly foreign to him Conveniently avoided are detail (or even mention) of issues pertaining to his frequent moves in kitchens and partnerships, and there's essentially nothing at all about his postkitchen career as restaurateur If an ultimately tooshort MPWsanitized MPW on MPW appeals, this is a terrific read (and I'd give high recommendations to do so to anybody in the biz). Without question, the original rockstar 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 starsand also the only chef ever to give them all backis a chainsmoking, potthrowing multiply married culinary genius whose fierce devotion to food and restaurants has been the only constant in a life of tabloidready turmoil In The Devil in the Kitchen White tells the story behind his ascent from workingclass 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 star kitchen, and why sometimes you really do need to throw a cheese plate at the wall Marco Pierre White has had an illustrious career for sure, but he's no Anthony Bourdain At least Tony has respect for the cultures of the world and sees what an as* he has been I wish Marco well but thought this was just another retrospective of a selfabsorbed, workaholic madman who achieved high culinary honors by manipulating, terrifying, insulting, abusing, and ignoring anyone who should have mattered to him (except his wife Mati, who must be a saint or the ultimate masochist) I'm glad to see he's stepped out of the kitchen to rake in royalties from his 30 restaurants and enjoy a bit of introspection. Marco is undoubtedly a brilliant chef, his accolades and accomplishments proceed him in the culinary world of fine food As a person; he is arrogant, pompous, self centered, and extremely easy to become disgusted with It seems as though he left a bigger wake in life as a personality who famously belittled and badgered every friend, lover, family member, peer, acquaintance, customer, and business associate he ever dealt with If there is such a thing as karma, he is in for a rude awakening I would rather have a hot dog or grilled cheese sandwich than patronize one of his restaurants! It is always about the Guest Marco!