Marco Pierre White: Pearls of Wisdom

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

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Marco Pierre White, who you won't find in a commercial kitchen or on Twitter
Marco Pierre White, who you won't find in a commercial kitchen or on Twitter
Once the holder of three Michelin stars, legendary chef Marco Pierre White is now a regular face on TV, fronting shows such as Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Wars and is the owner of eight pubs under the Wheeler's of St James name. He also co-owns 11 restaurants and is an ambassador for Knorr. 

I retired from cooking in a commercial kitchen 13 years ago​ and the restaurant world today is very different. There are a lot more opportunities out there today and restaurants and chefs can get a lot more recognition now than they used to. 

The people who inspired me most​ were Mr (Malcolm) Reid and Mr (Colin) Long at the Box Tree. They gave me so much and taught me that the proof is in the eating. I also gained a lot from working with Albert Roux. 

I don’t go in for knick knack cuisine.​ Too much messing around with the food has taken the romance out of eating out. To sit down in a restaurant and be told I’ll be eating seven courses along with everyone else at my table is not what I want to be doing.   

The only time I would use tweezers​ would be to pin-bone a salmon. 

When I started out as a chef the media never supported the industry like it does today.​ Just think about the amount of shows about hospitality there are now which bring interest from those in and outside the trade.   

Not everything you will do in life will be a success​, but what is important is to get your package right at whatever level, whether you’re a pub or a fashionable restaurant, be true to what you do and you won’t go wrong. 

There are as many pubs in Britain today as there were 20 years ago.​ Yes, some are closing, but look at all the new bars that are opening. 

Pubs are the most natural places in Britain to eat in​ because you’ve got every sector of society in them. Look at the number of chefs who are opening pubs now. 

I’ve just bought a load of pubs.​ I’m constantly buying and selling them and will continue to do that. 

A pub has to be somewhere locals can pop in and have a main course​, it should be smart enough for you to take your mum for Sunday lunch and romantic enough for a date. Of course it also needs to be busy enough for you to keep your bank manager happy.

Being a pub and having two Michelin stars​ can go against you in my opinion because you raise the expectation of the customer. 

I’ve worked with Knorr for six years now​, but I have been using their products for more than three decades. I prefer to use their products as a seasoning rather than salt. 

The more we do to food the more we take away.​ It is best to keep things simple. At the Boxtree we didn’t create pictures, we created flavours. 

If I was going to a restaurant today I would go to the Waterside Inn.​ For two and a half hours I want to step into that oasis and enjoy a traditional meal. They have something special there.

I don’t do social media.​ I don’t even know how to turn on a laptop. Look at my phone, have you seen one this old? 

BigHospitality spoke to Marco Pierre White at The Restaurant Show 2012.

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