Monday, April 14, 2008

Roasting in Hell's Kitchen: Done.

I read Gordon Ramsay's autobiography, Roasting in Hell's Kitchen: Temper Tantrums, F Words, and the Pursuit of Perfection over the weekend. It's a fairly quick read (I don't read fast) and, well, I wanted to finish it so I could take some books back to the library.

What an interesting life! He's nothing if not 100% committed to hard work and a drive to succeed. He certainly wasn't dealt the easiest hand in life. The comparison between him and his brother is an interesting one. You have two sons from the same family with the same horribly abusive father - one spends his life driven (almost compulsively) to succeed, while the other becomes a heroin addict. Of the two daughters, one (luckily?) gets sent off to a foster family around 16 after being kicked out by their father and seems to come out the better for it, the other ends up pregnant and out of the house at a young age. The girls weren't discussed as much, so I can't remember what else there was to their story. Still, it makes you wonder what it takes to overcome adversity - they all came from the same stock with very different outcomes.

I can't say I really identify with Ramsay, not just because of his family life, but also because I'm just not that driven, type A, aggressive personality. Perhaps that's what made him so fascinating to me though - I love learning about how other people tick. I like how frank he is, too. I know he isn't loved by everyone, but I think his book shows that he's not quite the self-important jerk some people think he is. It seems like one of those instances where the passion and confidence are interpreted as arrogance. He can be pretty funny and self-deprecating at times in his book, though, and I found that endearing. And who doesn't love when he calls people "YOU DONUT!" on TV? :)

My only complaint was that chapters are arranged more by subject matter, so time sometimes jumped around a bit. I'd still recommend the book, though. I don't read many (any) autobiographies, so I don't know how good it is compared to others, but it's a quick read and very interesting.

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