Customer Reviews


52 Reviews
5 star:
 (39)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have you heard the one about the pig's trotter?
For 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?

Don't make my mistake, this book is not to be missed. From the time I opened...
Published on 27 Sep 2007 by David Jenkins

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but overcooked in parts
After watching MPW on Hells Kitchen I was intrigued to learn more about the man who demanded respect. His story is all about hard work and commitment with a small amount of humour. His dedication is unrivalled and so is his success.

The downside of the book is his continual appreciation of himself. We all know he is rude, successful, a rock star chef and...
Published on 1 Jan 2008 by Kevin O'Brien


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have you heard the one about the pig's trotter?, 27 Sep 2007
By 
David Jenkins "Hub-UK" (Ipswich, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Devil in the kitchen (Paperback)
For 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?

Don't 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.

Someone 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.

The 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.

The 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.

There 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.

The 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!

And 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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware: Low Flying Cheese..., 14 Jun 2008
By 
Sarah Durston (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Devil in the kitchen (Paperback)
In the introduction MPW is reminiscing about a cooking demonstration he was going to do to a group of wealthy women. He says; `These dishes had to be quite effortless and ones the ladies could easily cook at home, so this is what I decided to serve; grilled lobster with parsley and chervil and a béarnaise mousseline; turbot with citrus fruits, a little coriander and some fennel; then sea bass a la nicoise.' I'm guessing that this is unintentional humour?! Cook easily at home, you say?? Mind you, I have trouble with scrambled eggs, so perhaps I'm not the best judge!

This book is absolutely incredible and compulsive reading. MPW talks about; his early life and the loss of his mother; how he started as a chef; his determination and drive to get three Michelin stars; his battle to win a libel case against two American newspapers and, perhaps best of all, some examples of his amazing temper. I was almost spellbound as I read about the time he held the owner of a mink coat to ransom; what he did with Albert Roux and a pig's trotter; and what he got up to in his office at Harveys.

There are times when he does show us a slightly softer and more sensitive side and who could argue with his ethos that, `no man can choose what he is born into, but every man can choose to better himself.' This man really is an inspiration, but that said, whilst reading about him was great....I'd be a little reluctant to work for him!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tortured Genius, 17 Nov 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Devil in the kitchen (Paperback)
By the end of this book, Marco is neither a devil nor in the kitchen, but you do understand why he once was both. Undeniably a difficult character, the autobiography goes some way to explaining the drive and motivations behind the man and I did wonder if a couple of therapy sessions had added to some of the more reflective and self-analytical passages. On the other hand, selective amnesia is often also in evidence especially when concerning business or personal relationships, although he does resist having a malicious swipe at those involved, perhaps an acknowledgment of his part in the downfalls. There is no doubt he inspired and changed a generation of chefs and drove himself to the edge of physical and mental breakdown in trying to achieve a perfection that would bring some sense of inner satisfaction, but you are left in no doubt that the person he wanted to please most of all died when he was too young to impress her. The ghost of Marco's mother is a constant presence in his life, and as he recounts the ups and downs of his career you feel that inner peace is something that he's always struggled and is still struggling to find. As an autobiography, this is quite a revealing and straightforward book but also entertaining and especially evocative of Eighties London. Recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original and best, 14 Dec 2007
By 
sam155 (Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Devil in the kitchen (Paperback)
Marco Pierre White put chefs on the map without meaning to. His reputation whilst at Harveys in the 80s filled many a column inch in the London and National Press and yet refrreshingly, he wasn't courting fame, he simply wanted to feed people the best food they could possibly imagine. Before reading this book I had heard of his fearsome reputation, his genius, and his regular appearances in gossip columns (again, not something he courts). When you understand from the early chapters of this book that this is the story of a boy who lost his mother at age six, then you begin to understand the man behind the myth. To say he was passionate and driven would be to understate the case dramatically. He was a loner, being motherless, and later, estranged from his father. Food was everything to the point where he barely had time to eat it any more, let alone sleep or have a life away from the kitchen. Its a gripping story with cameos from various famous faces and a fascinating historical snapshot of London in the Eighties. Its a story of how hard work maketh the man, a story sadly seen all too rarely amongst today's fame hungry consumerism.

Marco himself remains a likebale enigma. He has been rude, unpleasant, violent even, and has the decency to admit it and explain why without offering excuses for his past mistakes. He appears awkward with women, understandably so since he wasn't brought up around them, and spent his adolescence in front of a hot stove. He is almost pathologically sensitive and proclaims his affection for a friend in one chapter before stating in the next "we havemn't spoken since". This has happened to just about every mentor and friend he has comes across and perhaps reveals a fear of getting close to anyone in case they leave as his mother did. Or maybe he's just picky, who knows? Its a shame though, as he appears to inspire great and deep affection in those who know him.

Its hardly surprising that having been the youngest and first British chef to acheive three Michelin stars, he hung up his apron in 1999 whilst still in his thirties. He is now married with a total of four children and more of a businessman than a chef today. However, if you saw him in Hell's Kitchen earlier in 2006, you will see, as I did that there is an unmistakable charisma there and a code of honour and respect that is positively Sicilian.

I will also mention that this is edited (or ghostwritten) but I sense that this could be because Marco is dyslexic and has never switched on a computer in his life. His turn of phrase, from the humourous to the downright poetic, is unmistakeable and his vibrant rumbling tone, with just a soupcon of Leeds, is heard loud and clear throughout. As you can probably guess, this book made a huge impact on me and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone, regardless of their usual reading preferences. I am sure you, like me, will agree that this motherless boy deserves his happily ever after with his wife and family.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a mesmerising read, 25 July 2008
This review is from: Devil in the kitchen (Paperback)
I vaguely remember Marco being married to Lisa Butcher for not very long quite a few years ago and that he had a bit of a temper, but apart from that i was completely oblivious to his existance - until i saw the first episode of the great british feast a few weeks ago, and sat transfixed at the man that was on the screen. I have since then read his autobiography to find out how this mesmerising, humourous, slightly bonkers man came about.
The book is a one sitting read, it is written exactly as if he was talking to you. The death of his mother when he was 6 seems to be the single event in his life that has shaped his life, that has made him the man that he is, and her death will haunt him until the day he dies. Yes, his behaviour has not always been perfect and he has many personality flaws, but he apologises for none of it, instead he just seems to tell you the plain truth for you to make up your own mind about his actions. He is nothing if not honest.
By the end of the book i was left near to tears with his final words about his mother. You just want to be able to mend him!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the sunburn..., 14 May 2008
This review is from: Devil in the kitchen (Paperback)
I started reading sitting in the garden at midday in the sun. Time stopped still as I was lost in this mad world of Chef White. I read until I finished the book. I got sunburn, forgot to make the kids tea, my tomato plants wilted and the agony of an ear infection disappeared.

This is a story that will stay on my book shelves forever. It is one of those all too rare books that suck you in and make you grieve when you finish.

What a story, what a guy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but overcooked in parts, 1 Jan 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Devil in the kitchen (Paperback)
After watching MPW on Hells Kitchen I was intrigued to learn more about the man who demanded respect. His story is all about hard work and commitment with a small amount of humour. His dedication is unrivalled and so is his success.

The downside of the book is his continual appreciation of himself. We all know he is rude, successful, a rock star chef and intelligent but the purpose of a book is to allow the reader to make those assumptions themselves. The book is written with the same forced persuasion that he used in Hells Kitchen and is very much like the mans persona - intense and direct. It also name drops at every opportunity which I felt was not needed - I wanted to learn more about MPW himself.

I found it hard to digest that all the rows and falling out's he had were not his fault and in other parts it was difficult convincing myself that I was reading a truth.

However the references to his family and particularly his mother were written with affection, the final chapter was one of the most honest and heartfelt sections of the book. That I felt was the true MPW.

The book is interesting and oozes arrogance and it is probably worth reading to compare the differences with Gordan Ramsay and both versions of their falling out in Humble Pie.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A cheffing good read, 15 July 2009
By 
Helen Simpson (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Devil in the kitchen (Paperback)
I have only ever read three other autobiographies and that was enough to put me off the genre for good. However I picked this one up because Marco lived on the same estate as my grandparents whom I visited regularly as a child and I thought local references and memories might be interesting. I was intending to skim read it but I was engrossed from the first page.

The loss of his mother at such a young age was by far the most traumatic thing that ever happened to him and whilst he acknowledges this and recognises how the experience, amongst other things, might have shaped him, he doesn't use it as an excuse. In fact it's interesting to see how a persons attributes and failings can be traced to parents, upbringing and early experiences.

I enjoyed his tales of escaping to the Harewood estate to go fishing and his first jobs, his days on the Kings Road with the Chelsea crowd through to his success as a Michelin starred chef. Most of all I admired his hard work, determination and passion for creating which comes through almost obsessively. Even if you have no interest in fine dining or 'cheffing' you can't help but enjoy his mischievous streak as he describes people he worked with and stories of pranks both in the kitchen and out.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Insight, 13 Dec 2009
By 
David Thompson "T FUNK 1984" (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Devil in the kitchen (Paperback)
I mean that not only in terms of what it means to become a 3 star chef but also an insight into the life of the man himself. This book both shocks and inspires in equal measure. He speaks frankly and honestly about the death of his mother, friends won and lost (most lost by his own choices), various 'incidents' between him and customers/staff/press and what it takes to become the very best. I must admit I really felt for him at first and could draw many comparisons to my own life, however the more I read the more I realised that most of his downfalls are of his own creation. For someone to nearly kill themselves to get to the very top only to realise it isn't what they wanted after all and give it all away - amazing.

Macro is not someone I was overly familiar with, more the generation before mine that would have eaten in his establishments but I have to say this is a fantastic book, I enjoyed reading about his life immensely and even those not that interested in gastronomy will still enjoy this. He even finds time to pass on the occasional pearl of culinary wisdom. Massive respect for him as a professional and a person after reading this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best behaved boy in the kitchen., 10 Jun 2010
By 
Julie Hopcroft "Diva" (Staffordshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Devil in the kitchen (Paperback)
Wow! What can I say? I couldn't put it down, I read the whole book in about 3 hours. It was honest, heartbreaking, funny and passionate, with lovely little cooking tips along the way that were totally personal and very Marco. Marco's northern wit mixed with his Italian fire, tells a story that makes you feel like he has opened up his soul to only you. This is a no holds barred account of a man who threw his whole being into a career he was in love with, sometimes at the expense of loved ones and ruining friendships and relationships along the way.
If you want a truthful, sexy, humerous, damn good read, buy this. Marco Pierre White's Devil in the Kitchen, is as juicy and succulent as one of Marco's own dishes, revealing that there is, probably, a little bit of Devil in all of us.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Devil in the Kitchen: The Autobiography
£5.99
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews