02 April 2010 ~ 1 Comment

Roasting in Hell’s Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay

I’ve watched Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares from the beginning. I’m a bit of a foodie, so I find it very interesting. I always saw Ramsay as a huge egotistical butthead, someone who was so full of himself, someone who screamed, etc. He had a few redeeming moments, but… well, not many. I read this book out of morbid curiosity than anything else, but I walked away with a huge change of heart as far as the author goes. Oh, he has a big ego, he’ll admit that. But I think you don’t have the level of success that he has had without getting a slightly over-inflated ego. Learning about his childhood and how he rose to where he is today really brings the man more into focus. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this one, but I did. Not just fans of the show will enjoy this, anyone that enjoys memoirs will like it as well.

Everyone thinks they know the real Gordon Ramsay: rude, loud, pathologically driven, stubborn as hell

For the first time, Ramsay tells the full inside story of his life and how he became the world’s most famous and infamous chef: his difficult childhood, his brother’s heroin addiction, his failed first career as a soccer player, his fanatical pursuit of gastronomic perfection and his TV persona – all of the things that made him the celebrated culinary talent and media powerhouse that he is today.

In Roasting in Hell’s Kitchen Ramsay talks frankly about his tough and emotional childhood, including his father’s alcoholism and violence and their effect on his relationships with his mother and siblings. His rootless upbringing saw him moving from house to house and town to town followed by the authorities and debtors as his father lurched from one failed job to another.

He recounts his short-circuited career as a soccer player, when he was signed by Scotland’s premier club at the age of fifteen but then, just two years later, dropped out when injury dashed his hopes. Ramsay searched for another vocation and, much to his father’s disgust, went into catering, which his father felt was meant for “poofs.”

He trained under some of the most famous and talented chefs in Europe, working to exacting standards and under extreme conditions that would sometimes erupt in physical violence. But he thrived, with his exquisite palate, incredible vision and relentless work ethic. Dish by dish, restaurant by restaurant, he gradually built a Michelin-starred empire.

A candid, eye-opening look into the extraordinary life and mind of an elite and unique restaurateur and chef, Roasting in Hell’s Kitchen will change your perception not only of Gordon Ramsay but of the world of cuisine.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Book count for 2010: 25

One Response to “Roasting in Hell’s Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay”

  1. Dana Fortier 2 April 2010 at 10:49 am Permalink

    I’m a huge fan of Gordon’s and he’s one of those that I think he’s a whole lot of bluster and very little bite. He’s passionate, driven and focused. Not great qualities on a personal level, but like you said, when you achieve a certain level of success, you have those traits.

    I’ve seen him on other talk shows interacting with people and he’s totally nothing like he is on Hell’s Kitchen. You kind of see his true personality in the BBC versions of Kitchen Nightmares and another show he’s done in the past called Gordon Ramsey’s F Word.

    And I think a lot of that is a show, too. He’s gotten this reputation, and if he doesn’t live up to it, he’ll lose his following.

    I enjoy him and I enjoyed this book when I first read it about 2 years ago. He certainly had a rough start to life and deserves all the success he has now.

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