Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
Copyright all rights reserved
The exuberant and energetic Travelling Gourmet TM interviews the Chef with the curly hair, the ‘Wild Man of the Kitchen’…
MARCO Pierre White aka ‘L’enfant terrible of British gastronomy’. To be brutally honest, in my personal opinion, Marco is none of these things. In his own words, Marco told me candidly in an exclusive interview, ‘Most of my reputation is the product of exaggeration and ignorance!’ I added, ‘PLus media sensationalism…’ Marco chuckled, nodding his head in agreement. In actual fact, Marco who I am honoured to call my pal, is a tall, well built gentleman who is humble, courteous and unassuming. I am privileged to count many great Chefs as my good friends…from Paul Bocuse to Georges Blanc, Heinz Beck, Anne-Sophie Pic and more… The truly great Chefs unlike buffoons like Ramsay and Oliver and Lawson the cocaine addict, have these admirable qualities. I caught up with Marco Pierre White in Ash and Elm, the semi-fine dining restaurant of The Intercontinental Hotel Singapore. Marco took time off from doing his MasterChef Cooking Promotion to talk to me all about Food!
Three Michelin Stars at 33!
“At 33, I had three Michelin Stars! That was the high point of my career. Where do you go from there?? It has all been downhill since..” Marco remarked with a self …deprecating grin! I laughed at his ,,Galgenhumor” (Gallow’s Humour is very typical in Germany).
Marco continued, “You win three Stars by being disciplined, by being close to the flame. I just like to do my job! I was never controversial…you have to fight for what you believe in. The only mistake was fighting for what I believe in. Life was never meant to be easy.”
“What makes a great Chef, Marco?”
Marco explained simply, “All great cooks have three things in common..one is the respect that Mother Nature is the true artist, cooking as an extension of their fingers and finally, they have insight into the world that inspired them. My job now is to share my knowledge and inspire the young.”
On Molecular Gastronomy, Marco was brutally frank…waving his hands he said candidly,
“Molecular is style over substance…a canapé party of 18 small courses…why would I go to that??? They’ve got to be a lunatic!” I have to say, “Einverstanden!”(I agree in German)
I told Marco that I like to dine in his Marco’s New York Italian restaurant in Oxford in England. Marco explained, “I wanted to have something simple and affordable, not snooty. That’s the concept of Marco’s Italian.”
[ See my related feature on Marc0’s New York Italian in Oxford -> https://thatravellinggourmet.com/2015/06/03/new-york-new-york-in-oxford ]
Chef Marco Pierre White, I find to be a very likeable gentleman and I like him. I absolutely enjoyed talking with him about gastronomy and food.
With a wry and mischievious twinkle in his eyes, Marco commented, ” They still call me ‘L’enfant terrible’and I’m 55! Find somebody else!”
A good Chef always stays close to the flame.
Intercontinental Hotel Singapore
MasterChef Dining & Bar Singapore
World-renowned chef and restaurateur Marco Pierre White and top MasterChef personalities from around the world like Reynold Poernomo from MasterChef Australia, came together to craft bespoke menus featuring some of the finest MasterChef creations.
From 25, November 2016 to 9, December 2016, Lunch and dinner was served daily in the 15-day MasterChef Dining & Bar Singapore event. This is the first time Marco Pierre White helms the MasterChef Dining & Bar pop-up restaurant with MasterChef personalities.