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The Devil in the Kitchen

Sex, Pain, Madness, and the Making of a Great Chef

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 12, 2007 – Reviewed by James OselandThe world's most celebrated chefs are divided into two opposing camps these days. In one, there are the do-gooder humanists like Alice Waters of Berkeley's Chez Panisse. In the other, there are the self-avowed holy terrors like Britain's Marco Pierre White, author of this plodding autobiography, co-written with James Steen and originally published in the U.K. in 2006 under the untoward title White Slave. An influential figure in English cooking in the 1980s and '90s, White built an empire of London restaurants that included Harveys (where he became the youngest chef—at age 28—to win two Michelin stars), Mirabelle and the Oak Room. Famous folks like Michael Caine and Prince Charles were admirers of White's smart, decadent interpretations of classic French dishes. But while White was widely lauded for his culinary skill, it was his flamboyant temper that most frequently earned him headlines. An avowed proponent of tongue lashings (White calls them "bollockings") toward kitchen staff for all manner of infractions, the chef claims that such harsh behavior is justified in the pursuit of excellent dining. "If you are not extreme then people will take short cuts because they don't fear you," White explains. What he dubbed his "theatre of cruelty" extended beyond his kitchen. During White's glory years, getting thrown out of one of his establishments by the enfant terrible himself was considered a badge of honor by some Londoners. White recounts in the book one such eviction, of a patron who had criticized his meal: "Staring at this dwarfish, patronizing man... I found myself saying, 'Why don't you just f— off?'" Scenes like this make up the lion's share of The Devil in the Kitchen; indeed, after a point, they become dirge-like in their predictability. Why, I asked myself midway through this book—right around the time that my discomfort at White's antics gave way to boredom—would readers, much less diners, want to be in the company of such a gregariously antisocial character? As is the case with virtually any autobiography, the answer is that we are seeking a window into the subject's soul, no matter how, well, unsavory that subject might be. His book, unfortunately, provides no such insights, offering readers little more than a continual, atonal concerto of scuffles with customers and insults to co-workers. Please, I wanted to say to White as I was reading, stifle all that alpha male stuff and just cook. James Oseland is the editor-in-chief of Saveur magazine and the author of Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia (Norton, 2006).

Customer Reviews

To achieve perfection one must demand perfection!

As a chef I find this book very relative to the frustrations a real chef experiences. Chef White is a monster, but you know your place and follow his lead. His accomplishments were a benchmark to modern British fine dining experiences. And those who were mentored by him have become a reflection of his excellence. A great read for inspiring chefs and restaurateurs.

A glimpse into the crazy professional kitchen world!

I have picked up many books only to come across them months later unfinished. I can happily say this one did not fall in that category. Appreciate the stories Marco!

A great book!

The Devil in the Kitchen
View in iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Cookbooks, Food & Wine
  • Published: Aug 10, 2010
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Seller: Isolation Network, Inc. (INgrooves a.k.a. INscribe)
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings