some reason I ignored this book when it first came
out in hardback. Not sure why. Perhaps Marco Pierre
White was a name from the past and someone I knew
very little about . . . except perhaps that he was
rude, abusive and violent in the kitchen. How's that
for prejudging someone?
make my mistake, this book is not to be missed. From
the time I opened it at the first page until I had
finished I couldn't put it down. It is well written
and a fascinating account of a chef's life, albeit
a pretty unique chef.
who has won three Michelin stars, and is the youngest
chef at the age of thirty-three to have ever achieved
it, has to be a very unique person. The first British
Chef to win three Michelin stars.
paperback edition includes a new introduction to the
main text. It was published in August, before the
new series of Hell's Kitchen was broadcast on ITV,
making a couple of the paragraphs of particular interest:
agent, Peter Burrell, represents the retired boxer
Barry McGuigan, so I said to Peter, 'Why don't you
see if Barry would like to do Hell's Kitchen as
one of the contestants?' Peter phoned Barry and
put the idea to him, but the response was, 'Don't
get me on the show. I'll end up punching that guy.'
Peter explained that the programme would be hosted
by me (Marco Pierre White), Barry said, 'Oh, I thought
Gordon Ramsay was still doing it.'
start of the book takes you back to when Marco was
just six years old and facing up to life after his
mother's death, growing up in the male dominated world
of his father and two older brothers. It then moves
quickly through his formative years in Leeds, not
particularly happy years, where his greatest pleasure
was been able to escape fishing.
heart of the book is of course the time at Harveys
which culminates in his winning his second Michelin
star before moving to open Restaurant Marco Pierre
White at the Hyde Park Hotel in Knightsbridge where
he wins his third Michelin star.
is a lot more to the book than I have described. Even
if you are not into cooking it is a great insight
into the professional kitchen with its stress and
anguish. It might also help you to understand what
makes the greatest living British chef tick. Remember
when he started on the road to becoming a chef he
was not passionate about cooking it was just a job
. . . he grew to be passionate.
book is full of stories of the high jinx that went
on in the kitchens and the restaurant. From a restaurant
designer getting his Gucci suit ripped apart to a
chef having his whites cut up because he complained
it was too hot in the kitchen . . . he was still wearing
them at the time!
if I have not convinced you that The Devil in the
Kitchen is worth reading then let me say it is worth
reading just for the laugh you will get from the story
about Raymond Blanc and the pig's trotter!