Marco Pierre White
Sunday, September 14 4:50PM—5:35PMThe Role of a Chef
BiographyThe youngest British chef to have been awarded three Michelin stars, Marco Pierre White is known as much for his strong opinions as for his exceptional skill in the kitchen. Born in 1961, White began his training in the kitchen at the Hotel St George in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and later at the Box Tree in West Yorkshire. Arriving in London the age of 16, he began his classical training under Albert Roux and Michel Roux at Le Gavroche, continuing his training under Pierre Koffman at La Tante Claire before working in the kitchens of Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons and Nico Ladenis at Chez Nico. In 1987, White opened Harveys in London, winning his first Michelin star shortly thereafter and a second in 1988. He then moved on to become chef-patron of The Restaurant Marco Pierre White in the dining-room at the former Hyde Park Hotel, now Mandarin Oriental, where he was awarded his the third Michelin Star in 1994, and later the Oak Room at Le Meridien Piccadilly. Despite his fame and recognition and fame, White felt his career did not provide him with adequate returns in his personal life. In 1999, he gave up his Michelin stars and retired from the daily grind of the kitchen, saying, “I had three options: I could be a prisoner of my world and continue to work six days a week, I could live a lie and charge high prices and not be behind the stove, or I could give my stars back, spend time with my children and re-invent myself.” White served his final meal to a paying customer in December of that year.
He didn’t quite retire though. Since then, White has developed a portfolio of restaurants through his eponymous White Star Line company, including the London eateries Belvedere, Criterion, Drones, L'Escargot, Luciano's, Mirabelle, Quo Vadis, and the Frankie's chain of Italian pizzerias in partnership with jockey Frankie Dettori. White also has a stake in The Yew Tree Inn, a 17th-century dining pub in North Hampshire. White is also dining consultant to cruise line P&O Cruises for whom he has developed several restaurants on board the MS Ventura, which was launched this past April.
In September 2007, White began his stint on the British edition of the hit TV series Hell's Kitchen, penning an accompanying book to the show, Marco Pierre White in Hell's Kitchen (Ebury Press, 2007). In addition, he is the author of White Heat (Pyramid, 1990), Wild Food from Land and Sea (Ebury Press, 1997), and most recently, with James Steen, of the autobiographical, The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness and the Making of a Great Chef (Bloomsbury, 2007).In 2009, White will begin hosting an American version of the Australian competitive cooking program, The Chopping Block, which will air on NBC.