“The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness and the Making of a Great Chef” by Marco Pierre White

If you don’t know who Marco Pierre White is you will be meeting a volatile, narcissistic, and in his youth, simply gorgeous, bad boy chef. This autobiography was written with a ghost writer, which makes sense as the author left school at the age of sixteen. Let me clarify he left conventional school in his teens. He did attend many years of boot camp-like training in numerous professional kitchens. This type of brutal schooling helped prepare him to become the first three star Michelin British chef. White is famous for his French cuisine without ever having set foot on French soil. However, his mother was born in Italy so he did have some early Mediterranean influences in his life. White lost his mother at a young age.  She died in childbirth to her last son. Sadly, he also lost his youngest brother since his working class Dad couldn’t afford a nurse or anyone to stay home with the child. The baby went to Italy to live with Marco’s Italian relatives but the White family in England never saw the boy again.

White walks us through his life from his earliest years; he was born in 1961 through all the kitchens he worked in and restaurants that he owned, till his retirement in 1999. If you are a foodie and if you don’t mind reading about the constant abuse the staff goes through in a professional kitchen (I wouldn’t last a month and I consider myself tough skinned) I recommend that you check out this book. However, keep in mind, that White’s tale, written in 2006 is very similar to Anthony Bourdain’s also wicked autobiography “Kitchen Confidential” written in 2000, though White was the first to be labeled a celebrity chef. According to IMBd a movie version of “Devil in the Kitchen” is in development. All I can say is that they better find an actor who is a hottie to play him.


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