Called the original rock star chef. Called the mentor to Gordon Ramsey and Mario Batali. Called the enfant terrible of the British restaurant industry. Call him what you want, but Marco Pierre White won't give a damn. He is who he is, a genius and a madman, a brilliant artisan and a dedicated chef. And in his own words, he is The Devil in the Kitchen.
His memoir is a journey through professional kitchens, perfectionism, and insanity, with a hearty helping of sex, Michelin stars, and yelling. Lots of yelling. He came through kitchens in the days where chefs trained their teams by yelling, hazing, bullying, and swearing. He continued the tradition in his kitchens, with his teams. And he tells all about it, in detail, in his memoir.
Co-written with James Steen, The Devil in the Kitchen is a taste of what it takes to survive the kitchen of a classically trained French chef, of what it takes to become the youngest Michelin starred chef in the country. But White also flipped the script. He came up through classic kitchens, but he brought his attitude and bad boy behavior with him all the way.
After opening his own restaurants, he became known as much for his antics as he did for his exceptional cuisine. When a diner insisted on a plate of fries, White accommodated him, but he also charged him 25 pounds. He had sex with a customer between courses. He terrorized his cooks in the kitchen and made headlines everywhere else. Truth be told, he's still making headlines today as one of the UK's Masterchef judges.
As fascinating as his personal scrapes with notoriety are (and I do love some scandalous chef gossip), I was just as absorbed listening to him talk about the food. He has a way of seeing food in a way that no one else does. To say his food is elevated is an understatement. He saw something in cuisine that no one else did at the time, and he flipped the food world on its head when he opened his restaurant Harveys. There has never been a chef quite like him before, and it's very possible that there will never be again. His fingerprint is all over today's top restaurants around the world, and The Devil in the Kitchen explains why. For hard-core foodie readers, this is a must.