Marco Pierre White delivers a scathing message to award-winning restaurants

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

On the first anniversary of his Steakhouse Bar and Grill at the Indigo Hotel in Durham, legendary chef and infamous restaurateur Marco Pierre White met with staff, guests and fans for a day-long event, signing copies of the 25-year edition of his first book, White Heat.

Marco became a chef through no will of his own; he cooked at home out of necessity and followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, though he told The Northern Echo that food was very important in his household.

Despite this, the chef – the UK’s first to receive three Michelin stars - is widely recognised as being one of the world’s best; he trained under The Roux’s at The Gavroche, Pierre Koffman at La Tante Claire, Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir Nico Ladenis at Chez Nico.

He launched his first restaurant, Harvey’s, in 1987 and his second, The Restaurant Marco Pierre White, in 1993, earning his third Michelin star in 1994.

Notorious not just for his skills as a chef but his decision to return his stars and hang up his chef whites in 1999, Marco turned his attention to owning and running restaurants.

He now deliberately avoids chasing accolades and holds fine dining etiquette with some level of contempt.

Last year, he publicly asked that his Singapore restaurant, The English House, not be included in the Michelin Guide.  

The chef said refuses to pay for the drawn-out, often disappointing experience offered by the country’s most prestigious restaurants.

“Top restaurants now offer ten, 11, 12, courses and they are just little canapés on a plate. They are little nick-nacks. They are lukewarm. They are never satisfying.” he said.

This, he added, essentially amounted to “buying a conversation for tomorrow.”

“You are stepping into an illusion, which is not real,” he said. “It is no different from stepping into Gucci, or Yves Saint Laurent or Hermes for a handbag.”

The chef said that food should be comforting, and that nowadays “There is too much emphasis on making food look pretty rather than being delicious.”

Not a fussy eater himself, he said, at home, he settles for simple food. “I am the same as most people really. I do not want all of that fancy food.”

 Do you agree or disagree? Would you rather a 10-course tasting menu at a critically-acclaimed restaurant, or a single comforting dish somewhere else? Leave your reply in the comments 

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 30th April 2019

Marco Pierre White delivers a scathing message to award-winning restaurants