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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 2 October 2006
I read this book from cover to cover in an evening and an afternoon. Within the first few pages I was sucked into the life of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. Not pleasant at times but I was hardly expecting this to be a soothing book for bed time.
All I have ever know of this man is what has been portrayed in the tabloids, glossy mags and on TV. A seemingly arrogant, mouthy, bully? Wrong, in Humble Pie we get a glimpse of the other side of Ramsay and how he got to where he is today through hard work and determination.
Well written and with touches of humour as well as the sadness, sweat and tears. I really enjoyed this book. Honestly written and nothing fancy to make it more amusing, he tells it as it is. From the dark days of childhood to the fascinating life he has built for himself on his own merits...the kid from the council estate on free school meals...
I won't say rush out and read this book because I know it won't be everyones cup of tea, what I will say is speaking for myself and in my view this is one book I will remember long after it's been put away on the bookshelf.
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I have just finished reading Humble Pie within two days of buying it and was horrified and entertained in equal measure. You may see the volcanic Ramsay on television but compared to some of the chefs he has worked under, he is fair and rational. He emerges as a likeable and decent bloke- giving honest hard workers the chance to better themselves. He is also unspoilt and appreciative of how far he has brought himself-for example, he may be a multi millionaire but he doesn't want to spoil his children and only gives them one present for Christmas. I completely see his point. His lack of luxury as a child has made him work hard and appreciate what he has earned and he wants the same for his children. However, my favourite juicy bits of this book were the gasp-aloud scenes of almost comedy violence perpetrated by the chefs he has worked for. His old adversary Marco Pierre White emerges as totally unpredictable and irrational. The chefs he worked for in Paris fare little better and emerge as monsters. Gordon Ramsay may yell and swear in the kitchen but he, to my knowledge, has never thrown a boiling pot of stock at anyone. He has made mistakes and openly admits to them. His honesty is disarming, whether you agree with him or not. There are also incidnetal snippets of celebrity gossip hither and thither, and his background story of his relationship with his father and his brother nearly had me in tears, and yet lacks self pity. All in all, there's pretty much every emotion in this tale of triumph over adversity (Even a bit of romance in the chapter about women). A thumping good read whether you like him or not. Personally I don't see how anyone can fail to at least repect anyone who has worked as hard as him.
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on 14 December 2006
I had finished the book within 24 hours. Admittedly, I'd been dying to read it, and enjoyed it far, far more than the Neil Simpson "Gordon Ramsay: The Biography", which really was lowest common denominator rubbish. I felt that Ramsay showed a bit of what he has gone through to get where he is today, but considering it is supposed to be his own (as opposed to Simpson's, gleaned, as far as I could tell, from appearances on television and newspaper articles, without, what seemed to me,a single interview with the man himself) account of his life so far, I felt it was missing quite a bit of soul - he definitely affords more time to his cookery, and hey, who can blame him?! That's where his talents really lie.

Don't get me wrong - this is a good, readable biography, but I think Ramsay's supreme PR machine girls have had a lot more to do with it than perhaps any other editors. A collectable book for the die-hard Gordon fan (it takes one to know one), but I can't help but hope he writes another one in the future.
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on 19 January 2007
Full respect to Gordon Ramsay. One passed reviewer has said that this is about Gordon settling old scores, whereas REALLY this is about Gordon setting the record straight, and Boy is there plenty to do. This really is testiment to how hard Mr Ramsay has worked, and why he deserves all the accolades he has.

Gordon chronicles his life starting from the early days in the rough part of Glasgow to his swanky house that we all would love in Wandsworth. He deserves everything he has, and inspires you to want to do better yourself. Not only is this a motivational book, but it's a darned good read!

I defy anyone not to finish this in a matter of days!
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on 6 July 2007
I echo the comments of my fellow reviewers; I am not really a fan of Gordon and cannot claim to have watched his programmes, but having been given the book as a gift I thought I'd give it a go. What a really interesting book, which holds the readers attention through each of the gritty chapters. He is, and clearly always has been, a driven individual who has worked his way through hard times to achieve his success. He uses the 'F' word quite a lot in his book, as he does in reality, but it doesn't detract. Keep turning those pages, it just gets better! Enjoy.
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I read Humble Pie as a pre-runner to reading Playing With Fire...I found it totally engrossing. Gordon Ramsay writes from the heart in describing his early difficult childhood with an overbearing, selfish and violent father to his curtailed football career and then to finding a career in the Kitchen almost by accident. Ramsay really earned his stripes in gathering cooking experience, especially in France and via his old Mentor Marco Pierre White and that is why he is the most respected Chef in the world today. The guy is already a culinary genius and his natural persona shines through as a genuine celebrity (even if he hates the concept of 'Celebrity Chef'). The insight into behind the scenes at Hell's Kitchen really shows that he is totally his own man. A must for all Ramsay fans
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on 3 August 2007
Most people know that this man wears his heart on his sleeve and isn't afraid to let people know exactly what he thinks. Which should translate well into an autobiography and does so effectively. This is a very easy book to read and you fairly race through the chapters. I didn't want to put it down. Ramsay doesn't shirk a challenge and lays his soul on the line with regards to his father, his heroin-addicted brother and all those important to him as well as explaining his obvious zeal for food. The guy went through the mire to get to where he got to and he is to be applauded for that and as far as i am concerned, I have even more respect for him after reading this.

If you want a superb autobiography to read, this is the one for you. There were some slight inaccuracies with regards to his early football playing days but that would be being pedantic for it to lose any stars. An excellent read and a great insight into what makes Ramsay tick.
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on 28 November 2006
This is quite an interesting and inspiring book, telling the story of his life so far and how he is not quite like the man we all see on the TV.

But it seems to me, to be more about him settling scores, and insulting people from his past, than himself 'baring his soul' !!

Still an interesting read though
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on 26 May 2007
Reading this, you do start to wonder why he wrote it. Was it to shake the demons of his family and his poor past? Was it to justify himself against the critics who take delight in knocking his achievements? Is it point scoring over the other 'celebrity' chefs that he dislikes? Is it meant to inspire other people to scramble their way up through hardship and heartache? Or has TV gone to his head?

Whatever the reason, it's an engaging and interesting read. Is it all true or is there some spin? Were all the jobs as bad as he makes out? Maybe, maybe not. It makes a good story though, and it will keep you reading from football trials, through his apprentice days around Europe right up to his TV and multi Michelin star days of today. Well written as well, with a certain amount of soap box but not too much. And a certain amount of self aware humour - telling us how his wife used to buy Jamie Oliver cook chills, you can almost hear his teeth grinding!

If he'd managed to give you enough insight to understand why he wrote this, it would have been a 5. But you still sense that he could have gone further in opening up. Not many recipes or pictures of food either :)
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on 15 February 2007
Gordon Ramsay's autobiography is a treat to read; his life is full of so many exciting ups and downs that it really does read like fiction, although I don't think you could make this up! He is honest about his own shortcomings as well as those of others and is brave enough to share with the reader his darkest hours and the most difficult times he has been through with his family.

It's very easy to sit at home and see his many TV shows and assume that he's rolling in cash, he's had it easy, his kids are spoilt and that nowadays he's just a TV frontman rather than a cook.. but it seems that these perceptions are entirely wrong. He's had a difficult upbringing which seems to reflect in everything he does. It's refreshing to hear his sound values and love of life and cooking (not that he always distinguishes between the two!).

A truly interesting insight, not only in Gordon Ramsay's life, but also into the seemingly cut throat world of class A restauranteurs and chefs. If I was his mum, I'd be dead proud!
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