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3.9 out of 5 stars
Gordon Ramsay's Playing with Fire
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
I like most had read the first book 'humble pie' which is the story of the man himself and was a fascinating read.
This second book 'playing with fire' is a book about his buisness ventures. ie. How he set up his restaurants, got the finance, expanded his empire and all the buisness dealings. I really enjoyed this book as the business side of things really interested me. However this second book is clearly going to appeal to a smaller market than his first. My wife who loved the first wasn't interested in reading this one for the same reasons that I liked it.
In summary a good read if you like books on successful business stories not so good if you are after another autobiography.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 March 2014
I must say not being a big fan of Gordon Ramsay, I picked up this book in a holiday cottage to read, and found I could not put it down. I didn't finish the book before my brief stay away, hence buying this copy.
I found it a very good read into his career highlights and failures, I like the way he acknowledges his great team of staff, his sense of humour at we see every time we dine out, the bad things he sees and comments on. All in all a good easyread
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2014
I'm not in the restaurant or food business, so perhaps a lot of the things he says and does here are blindingly obvious to anybody in that branch, but I thought it read as a pretty good manual of what to do and what not to do when opening a restaurant. Much of the advice can be applied in other areas as well (and what a shame most businesses don't!)

The style is Ramsay's usual straightforward one (so if liberal amounts of swearing bother you, don't buy it!) and he comes across as very down to earth. He gives the impression that he owes a lot of his success to his father-in-law, but isn't afraid to give credit where it is due and admit to his own mistakes.

It's a very quick and easy read, and fans of Ramsay will love it. I think I'll be picking up the other parts of his autobiography.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2012
Great read, Gordon Ramsey at his best. Helps to understand his life up to this point. Highly recommend to everyone
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on 30 October 2014
I read with interest and enjoyment Gordon Ramsay's insight into his business practice and acquisitions. It read well, and what he said made a great deal of sense.Gordon does not need a PR company,he is able to promote himself quite easily without their help.The book gives a good insight into the world of high end eating, and the skullduggery that is known as business practice. I have read that Gordon fell out big time with Chris,his father in law, and I look forward to reading his angle on that affair, and how it came about because they do seem a very successful pair who have created an empire that has the potential to go on and on.
Good read,and another example of a focussed approach can produce results.
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on 4 September 2014
I really enjoyed this book, which was quite surprising as I didn't know what to expect! Gordon Ramsay has this expected persona of being very arrogant, pushy and rude!
This is not the way he came across at all! He does seem to have the desire and will to succeed, as he certainly seems to have done. He also comes across as wanting the very best for his family, (which is no bad thing) whilst not making it too easy for them.
I have had my eyes opened reading this book, and have a new found respect for the man.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2013
I admit it, I'm a HUGE Gordon Ramsay fan. I've watched a lot of his Channel 4 series and am a fan of Masterchef, Hell's Kitchen etc. I had to get this book as I had bought (and loved) his first book.
Overall, I did really enjoy the book, it gave me a good idea as to how his restaurants and company is run, but that was about it. There wasn't much of a personal story, but rather the successes (and sometimes, demise) of his many restaurants and staff members.
That doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy it, I did. It was nicely laid out into chapters, usually reflecting a story of a new restaurant/business venture and, as an aspiring restaurateur, I need to learn a few tips. From telling us about GRH's offices to how Chris (which I now believe is no longer the CEO) helped Gordon throughout his career, many of the tips were pretty useful, without divulging too much information.
I was expecting a little more of a story though just like Humble Pie, after all, it is an autobiography. We got a feel of his story in Humble Pie but I felt that it was slightly vague.
Overall, Playing with Fire is an excellent book and is laid out nicely, I just wanted a little more storyline/history.
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29 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2007
This book tells of the business side of Gordon Ramsay's world. It is interesting, suprising, funny and revealing. In a strange way it reveals more about Gordon Ramsay than his autobiography Humble Pie. Well, well worth the read and highly recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2009
In reading "Gordon Ramsay's Playing with Fire" I was given an interesting overview of the eponymous authors take on the business world. This is set out as a more detailed autobiography on the lessons learnt in business and is a rich canvas of detail, written with passion and adroit execution.

We learn of the incredible growth of "Brand Ramsay", or more correctly "Ramsay Holdings" from its genesis on Royal Hospital Road through to the hospitality powerhouse it has now become.

For me the most interesting aspects of the book involve Ramsay's partner and father-in-law Chris Hutcheson. Ramsay is generous in affording due credit to the business acumen of Hutcheson which, it transpires, was as pivotal in Ramsay's success as the talents of the expletive laden chef himself.

The narrative of Hutchinson's actions, diligence and drive in business adds colour and texture to story of stellar growth. This book is indeed about business, but I think the ghost-writer also deserved credit in that he makes the subject interesting to those who would normally choose not to venture into this field of reading.

I respect Ramsay for admitting his entrepreneurial mistakes and he shows more humility than some would expect. Unfortunately this refreshing honesty is seemingly always tainted by an incessant need to personally abuse some individual also associated with a failure, a person that Ramsay has no doubt broken contact with.

For example, when referring to an ex member of staff Ramsay refers to her as a "fat, self-contented moose". Now it is up to him who he insults, and even though he doesn't mention this person's name, there will be people who know who she is, but she cannot commensurately defend herself. This is isn't the only occurrence, and it leaves a rather bad taste.

However, that really is my only complaint, as on the whole this is a vibrant book full of excellent tips for those looking to run their own business, as a restaurateur or otherwise. As with "Humble Pie" it is a lesson in perseverance and hard work, again proving that much of what is seen as natural talent is pure graft. Ramsay certainly has talent, as a businessman as well as a chef, but this has been earned, and not bestowed. Earned through blood, sweat and tears.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2007
You shouldn't be misguided into thinking that this is an autobiography follow up to Humble Pie. The book is about how to start, run and keep a business. In the book Gordon reveals ideas on how to run a successful business and maintain the high standards to keep it at the top. It is a great read and he also tells us a bit more about his staff which is good because, as Gordon says, he wouldn't be where he is today without them. I think that for this book to be enjoyable to you, you either have to be a Gordon Ramsay fan or are interested in the running of a business. If you're not, then it could get a bit boring for you. If you are a fan though, this is a great book and a good follow on from Humble Pie.
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