Writing about professional chefs and cooks. Biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, journals and diaries.
Sounds dull? Well, where do you think recipes come from? They’re inspired by chefs who start the trends that the rest of us follow. Besides, some of these guys make rock stars look like nuns.
If you love cooking, you should love books about cooks: books, Kindles, article or online features that tell us about the lives of chefs, cookbook authors, professional restaurateurs or people who have played a significant role in food, cooking or the history of food. And, yes, some of these chefs are really bad boys/girls!
Here are three classics books-about-cooks, featuring three notorious ‘bad boys’ of cooking.
Gordon Ramsay’s Playing with Fire
In the beginning there was nothing. Not a sausage – penniless, broke, f#*### nothing – and although, at a certain age, that didn’t matter hugely, there came a time when hand-me-downs, cast-offs and football boots of odd sizes all pointed to a problem that seemed to have afflicted me, my mum, my sisters, Ronnie and the whole lot of us. It was as though we had been dealt the ‘all-time dysfunctional’ poker hand. I wish I could say that, from this point on, the penny dropped and I decided to do something about it, but it wasn’t like that. It would take years before the lessons of life, business and money began to click into place – before, as they say, I had a pot to piss in.
Kitchen Confidential Updated Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.
We were high all the time, sneaking off to the walk-in at every opportunity to “conceptualise”. Hardly a decision was made without drugs. We worked long hours and took considerable pride in our efforts – the drugs, we thought, having little effect on the end-product. That was what the life we were in was about, we believed.
The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness and the Making of a Great Chef, by Marco Pierre White.
“Lots of famous chefs today don’t look whacked, because they don’t work. They have a healthy glow and a clear complexion. There is blood in their cheeks. They haven’t got burns on their wrists and cuts on their hands.”