Masterchef S01 ep16: Marcus Wareing, Petrus Restaurant , [London]
Interview with Marcus Wareing
People say that fine dinning is dying, I find that a hideous thing to say because people, no matter who you think you are, no matter what you think of food, somewhere in your life or somewhere down the line we all want to be pampered.
I was in a competition for my college and I was spotted by one of the judges who was a very good friend of Anton Edelmann, the Executive Chef of the Savoy Hotel and so I went to the Savoy at 18.
I left the Savoy almost 2 years later and managed to get myself a position at Le Gavroche. In those days it was 3 star Michelin restaurant. Today it is an institution, but then it was one of the hottest kitchens of London at the time. That is where I met Gordon Ramsay. We were there together almost a year.
Back then there were very few restaurants to choose from, the best of the best were the best, your Nico Ladenis, the Roux Brothers, Marco White.
The thing that sticks in my mind more than anything was the Marco Whites scenario. He was the turning point for cuisine in London today. Once he opened Harvey’s and became the chef that was obsessed with cooking, with his determination to be the best of the best, he inspired many, many chefs.
Going into the early 90’s there was no large 300-400 seated dinning rooms, it was always about fine dinning and quality on the plate. When Marco opened the Canteen in Chelsea, that started for me to spur this unbelievable opening of restaurants that seems to happen week in week out.
My focus is strictly on fine dinning. I cannot cook for more than 6 to 8 people at a table – I am not interested in cooking for the masses, I am not interested one bit for a dining room that seats 300, or 400 people. It is not what I am trained to do. I am trained in fine dining and cooking for the individual.
People say that fine dining is dying, I find that a hideous thing to say because people, no matter who you are, no matter what you think of food, somewhere in your life or somewhere down the line we all want to be pampered.
And as time goes on, Marcus Wareing’s food will evolve into being Marcus Wareing’s signature. It’s 16,17 months old now, and you are still eating the food of where Marcus has trained, where he has eaten, what he has seen and he is putting these ideas together evolving into my own individuality.
I give it 4 – 5years before it gets to that.
KM – When I interviewed Gilbert Lecoze of Le Bernardin in New York, he told me he spent 6 months basically at the docks, going out with the boats, to find out where the fish were, what the qualities were, were the best fish came from. Are you that manic about your produce?
No, I ‘ve got good suppliers who I pay to do that for me.
The most important place for a chef to be is in his kitchen. In there from when the stock gets put on to when it gets taken off, from the food arriving in the kitchen, to be prepped, cooked and served.
Cooking for me is the basic of French food, of French classic training, a good French stock, good French continental vegetables, good French sauces, then you adapt your own style and taste to it.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE:Marcus Wareing, Petrus Restaurant, [London]