Marco Pierre White performing at Brighton’s Pub in the Park

MEMORIES is all that remains of the youngest chef to win three Michelin stars, the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.

Once at the forefront of the culinary world, Marco Pierre White is credited with bringing continental cuisine to Britain and starting the restaurant revolution.

Chefs were eager to train under him. His restaurants were restaurants like Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal. And he soon made a name for himself as the first rock star chef.

But those days are long gone, and many of London’s ovens have been replaced by water baths and otherworldly cooking techniques.

However, Marco’s passion for exquisite cuisine is still aflame, he tells The Argus as he looks forward to visiting Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park Food Festival this month for a real cookout and a pint.

“It’s always a pleasure to go to Brighton,” he says in the soft, thoughtful voice that has become his trademark, replacing the rant of expletives he was once known for.

The Argus: Marco still holds the record for the youngest chef to have three Michelin starsMarco still holds the record for the youngest chef to have three Michelin stars

“I’ve been going there for years. When I first arrived in London I didn’t leave for two years and the first thing I did was take a day trip to Brighton.

“I’ve spent quite a bit of time fishing for cod in the marina over the years. I also love the architecture, it’s quite magical.”

Marco started his career with the Roux brothers at Le Gavroche before opening London restaurant Harvey’s in 1987.

And in 1995, at just 33, he became the youngest person to win three Michelin stars – awards he would later return to the Guide before leaving the business altogether.

“I wouldn’t trust the Michelin guide as far as I could throw it,” he says.

“If you are awarded by people less knowledgeable than you, what is it worth?”

Now, however, the chef is back on fire with a portfolio of restaurants across the country and looks forward to sharing his love of cooking when he visits the city in two weeks.

“Pub in the Park is a magical day, it’s a fantastic day for everyone,” he says.

“I always tell people stories – cooking is secondary. I’ve always said that stories are much more important than a recipe. A story can inspire you.

“My mother was Italian. Before my mom died when I was six, I would often sit to the side and watch her make risotto and take all those master classes without realizing it.

“The truth is no one ever showed me how to make a risotto – it was obviously in my subconscious.

“After my mother died, I spent my whole life outside of school with nature. Mother Nature became my surrogate mother.

“And without that love of nature, I don’t think I would have won three Michelin stars.

“It’s about the emotion.”

Marco is clearly calmer than in his formative years, but no less enthusiastic, and is expected to join many others in inspiring future chefs and home cooks later this month.

And while the chef is sure to put a sparkle in the eyes of young foodies, Marco naturally finds time to soak up the atmosphere.

“When it comes to British food, which Tom is very good at, I like to drink it with a decent pint. So I think Pub in the Park is doing well.

“There’s great ale, there’s great food. It’s a multidimensional event – it entertains you.

“Tom’s contribution to restaurants and the world of food has been tremendous – our lives have been enriched by food.

“Some of these events can be quite boring. But Pub in the Park, I can tell you, is never boring and that’s why I keep coming back, whether it’s to help Tom or just to enjoy the day.”

Pub in the Park is visiting Brighton from 16th to 18th September. Marco Pierre White performing at Brighton’s Pub in the Park

Fry Electronics Team

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