Ratings.net : Ratings for Consumer Products and Services. View ratings by others, enter your own ratings, view professional ratings, and find links to related information.
Music menu seperator DVDs menu seperator Video Games menu seperator Electronics menu seperator Books menu seperator Computers menu seperator Toys menu seperator Beauty menu seperator Jewelry
submenu left
Ratings.net is your best one-stop source for consumer product reviews on the Internet
submenu right
select

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

Ratings and reviews for The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness and the Making of a Great Chef
4.2
based on 25 rating(s)
Bookmark and Share
Buy this item from Amazon.com
Price: $17.00 $13.43 (21% off)
Trade In Value: $1.10
Author(s): Marco Pierre White
Release Date: 5/27/2008
Binding: Paperback
Number of Pages: 272
Studio: Bloomsbury USA
Manufacturer: Bloomsbury USA
Dewey Decimal Number: 641
Product Group: Book
Edition: Reprint
Sales Rank: 6838
Description:

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.

ISBN: 1596914971
UPC: 1596914971

Ratings
123
Reviews 1 to 10 of 25
Pageof 3
amazon logo Interesting story told in uninteresting fashion
There is a fascinating story in this book, but unfortunately it never emerges. Marco White has all the elements - talent, glamour, flamboyance, brilliant chef and restauranteur, and a real flair for drama and theatrics. In telling his own story, however, he settles for a recitation of all the bad-boy behavior told with a tedious lack of insight and an unattractively smug tone. How long can you go on tossing people out of your restaurant (customers, employees and business partners alike) and your life (friends, colleagues, mentors and wives) before it occurs to you that the problem isn't other people, but you? For White, it seems that the answer is "Forever."



White's personal story is compelling - up from a working class background, raised by an emotionally distant father after his mother's early death, inspired by food and cooking to reach the pinnacle of British cuisine (stop snickering - it does exist and he did it) at a very young age and thereby gaining entry into the glitzy jet set that he both loves and is uncomfortable with. The problem is that he lists the facts ("This is how I got this job; this is where I worked under brutal conditions that would fell a lesser man and where I loved it until I hated it and was fired or quit; this was a cooking genius I deeply admired and learned enormously from until I stopped admiring and now we don't speak; and I did this all because I am driven by an unslakeable thirst to brag about what a pain-junkie I am") without conveying any of the excitement and enthusiasm that must have fueled this. Other than being self-congratulatory ad nauseum about what a tough bastard he is, White has nothing to offer a reader trying to understand how he became the culinary rock-star that he is - a phrase he cannot get enough of.



And that is a pity, because a book by a chef should at least be able to convey his knowledge of and passion for food. Three Michelin stars are not just handed out like Halloween candy, and a chef with his talent, knowledge and experience - aaah, it's just plain frustrating that the food part of this takes a distant second place to Big Bad Bullying Chef stories. Where is all the sublime food that he must have cooked? The hunt for superb ingrdients? The remarkable techniques that transformed a simple rice dish into "the best risotto he ever ate"? Missing, that's where. Foodies everywhere will be disappointed.



Oh, yeah - if you are going to list sex first in your subtitle, there should be more of it in the book other than an acknowledgment that you are shy with the birds and that you preferred cooking to sex. Especially when you are also saying that you routinely shagged customers in your office during dinner service.



One chapter of the book relates his law suit against the NY Times for publishing a mildly defamatory profile of him, where one of his successful claims was that the piece damaged his reputation among American diners who might now avoid his restaurants. Considering what he has done to himself with this book, White should return the money.
73 of 86 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo One of the most interesting celebrity chefs out there
I am into food and I enjoy reading about the food industry and its personalities. For all of his fearsome reputation, he has a lot of very interesting and reasoned opinions and clearly cared about what he was doing. It was a fun read about an interesting person. If you enjoy this genre of book, you will enjoy this book.
19 of 30 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo Marco Hates You
Marco Pierre White is the original rock and roll chef and the first person I'm aware of to consistently go into the dining room and tell people to shove off.

When I was on an ACF Jr. Culinary Olympic Team in the late 90s, this was not a fact we overlooked, and for it White was instantly a hero of ours. I grabbed up all his cookbooks; the best of which was the tough to find White Heat. Through it, we discovered strange foods like caul fat, that we, as young cooks, had never seen, had, or even heard of.

Needless to say, when I saw he was writing a biography, my interest was peaked.

There's a funny story in the book that sums it up for me. A Michelin 3 star chef dined at White's restaurant, and afterwards, came into the kitchen to say everything was great except the fish -- which was salty. White told the cook who prepared it to tell the chef to "F off".

White seems to tell everyone to "F" Off, and as interesting as this book was to me, a fan, I'm sad to say, overall, it is pretty poor. White has a tremendous ego, and comes off sounding like a real jerk that ruins every meaningful relationship he's ever been apart of both personally and in business.
16 of 20 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo so far so good.
very interesting story of how a chef becomes a chef. if you enjoy cooking and anthony bourdain this book will do it for you.
4 of 12 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo The Pride of Leeds
Marco Pierre White is both an award-winning chef and the product of a council block in Leeds. The Devil in the Kitchen demonstrates the relationship between those two facts, as Marco is driven to succeed, leveraging his blue collar work ethic and personal pride. His drive is all-consuming, with 17 and 18 hour days at the stove a common pattern. He is animated by a love of food--nature's great gift--and he operates on adrenalin, nicotine, an obsession with quality control and, for a time, the need for public recognition of his efforts.

Marco is often thought of in America as Gordon Ramsay's mentor. If so, he put the hell in hell's kitchen, though the book is less about him as a devil than about the demons that make him a great chef. The book is a tour of British gastronomy in that Marco works--in the course of his life--at many of England's great restaurants and for England's great (often non-English) chefs.

The book includes recipes of some signature dishes and sidebar tips on Marco's methods and techniques. The narrative (written with James Steen) is brisk, interesting and engaging. It is a story of obsession and accomplishment but not really about sex, pain, and madness, as the subtitle suggests. There is a little sex and a bit of pain but no madness in the clinical sense. There are also tantrums, anecdotes of the glitterati and tales of the rich, the powerful, the hungry and the rude. The world of Marco's kitchens will not be unfamiliar to readers of Tony Bourdain or fans of Gordon Ramsay's many shows. In some narratives cookery is all sweetness, light, conviviality, love and family. Here it is war, but war that is very tasty and washed down with first growth red bordeaux.

Both confirmed foodies and fans of memoir and autobiography will enjoy this book.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo More a love story than an autiobiography
A touching and enduring love story between Mr. White and his temper tantrums, most of which happen to take place in a kitchen, which is as close as this book comes to being about food. Mr. White's father was mean to him as a child, and Mr. White as a supposed grown up is mean to others, told 100 times over. Insanely boring. Kitchen Confidential was infinitely better although yes, Mr. White was quite the hottie back in the day and looks great on the cover.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo Excellent
This is an excellent for anyone in the food industry. It is fascinating and you are unable to put this book down once you begin.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo You'd best look elsewhere
An interesting look at Marco Pierre White's journey from a public housing project in Leeds to becoming the first of today's generation of celebrity chefs. Before Emeril, Batali, and purely made for TV products like Rachel Ray, White redefined fame for a chef, dating supermodels and being hounded by British tabloids.

The book is interesting, though not particularly well-written, and it certainly tends toward self-absorption on White's part. It is nowhere near the equal of Anthony Bourdain's work, or Bill Buford's excellent "Heat", which offers a behind-the-scenes look at the bombastic, but endearing, Mario Batali.

In today's world of professionally trained chefs (see Michael Ruhlman's excellent "The Making of a Chef"), White is a anachronism, coming up as an apprentice in progressively more prestigious kitchens. Some of the most interesting technical elements of the book share White's thoughts on the evolution of classical French cuisine, as it has become progressively lighter over time, with heavy sauces de-emphasized in favor of highlighting the principal ingredients. Sadly, these elements are sparingly interspersed amongst a steady diet of White's eruptions in the kitchen ("bollockings") and anecdotes in which he curses his patrons and throws them out of his restaurants.

While an interesting read, this is really a book for professionals, or those deeply interested in the restaurant industry. There is little to learn about cooking, and if you want a look into the world of professional cooking, the books I referred to above are all better places to start.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo LEAVE IT TO CLEAVER
MARCO PIERRE WHITE IN THE TRADITION OF ENGLISH ECCENTRICS
TAKES OR RATHER BAKES THE CAKE!

HIS ANTI ESTABLISHMENT ATTITUDES AND APPEARANCE MAKE THIS
HALLOWED ENGLISH CULINARY GENIUS EVEN MORE REMARKABLE.

HIS BRILLIANCE WAS TO DESTROY THE HACKNEYED PRESUMPTIONS
THAT GREAT BRITAIN WAS AND IS A WASTE LAND OF BAD FOOD.


HIS COURAGE IN THIS EXCELLENT BOOK WAS TO RELAY HIS RAGS
TO RICHES RISE TO STARDOM,WARTS AND ALL YET EXPLAINING
THAT IT'S ALL ABOUT INGREDIENTS AND IF YOU CAN CAPTURE
THOSE INGREDIENTS WITH INTEGRITY YOU CAN UNLOCK FLAVORS
WHICH IS WHAT FINE COOKING IS ALL ABOUT.

SOMETHING THAT IS LOST ON MANY OF TODAY'S RISING CELEBRITY
CHEFS - SIMPLICITY NOT COMPLEXITY.

THIS WAS AN EXCELLENT READ - I WISHED THERE HAD BEEN MORE,
PERHAPS A SEQUEL CAN OFFER US MORE RECIPES,ANECDOTES AND
BRILLIANT MARCO PIERRE WHITE TECHNIQUES.

THE DEVIL IN THE KITCHEN IS ONE HELL OF A READ - FIVE BIG
FAT FLAVORFUL MICHELIN STARS.



1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo The Man That Walked Away
I used to think of MPW as sell-out. A tired old chef peddling stock cubes and trying to convince people that they were somehow superior to salt...lol. After reading this book and taking a long walk in Marco's shoes, actually staging at the acclaimed Waterside Inn myself I don't think anyone should be commenting on who or what Marco is, they haven't worked hard enough yet.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.

Related Items
View ratings for Kitchen Confidential Updated Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (P.S.)
4.2
View ratings for Le Repertoire De La Cuisine: The World Renowned Classic Used by the Experts
4.4
View ratings for The French Laundry Cookbook (The Thomas Keller Library)
4.5
View ratings for Letters to a Young Chef (Art of Mentoring (Paperback))
4.4
View ratings for The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection
4.4