A note near the back of Marco Pierre White's “The Devil in the Kitchen” says that his “gastronomic empire ... is rapidly expanding to include ventures in Las Vegas,” which as any dedicated Las Vegas foodie knows, isn't accurate — at least not yet. And while White was the youngest chef — and first British chef — to be awarded three Michelin stars, and currently is the host of the British “Hell's Kitchen,” his name isn't yet familiar to most Americans. That may change next year, as NBC has scheduled a restaurant-based reality show featuring White.
Until then, his autobiography-cum tell-all is worth picking up. While its subtitle promises “sex, pain, madness and the making of a great chef,” there's not really much of the first three — not as much as in, say, Anthony Bourdain's “Kitchen Confidential.” What will be of interest to food-lovers is White's philosophy about managing a kitchen staff (which basically breaks down to “spare the rod and spoil the line cook”) and his revelations about the ins and outs of the Michelin ratings system.
“Give me a rule and I'll probably break it,” White writes, but it's just that rule-breaking that made him a success -- and makes “The Devil in the Kitchen” such an entertaining read.