White, Marco Pierre 1961-
White, Marco Pierre 1961-
Born December 11, 1961, in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England; married Alex McCarthy, June 8, 1988 (divorced, January, 1990); married Lisa Butcher, August 15, 1992 (divorced, November, 1992); married Matilde Conejero, April 7, 2000 (divorced, 2007); children: four.
Chef and restaurateur. Worked as a cook, 1981-86; Harvey's, London, England, founder, 1986—; Restaurant Marco Pierre White, London, chef, 1992-96; Oak Room, London, chef, 1996-99; host of Hell's Kitchen, 2007—. Founder or business partner of a number of restaurants around the world.
White Heat, Headline (London, England), 1992.
Canteen Cuisine: In the Kitchen with Michael Caine, Ebury Press (London, England), 1995.
The Mirabelle Cookbook, Ebury Press (London, England), 1999.
Wild Food from Land and Sea, Ebury Press (London, England), 1999.
White Magic, Ebury Press (London, England), 2002.
(With James Steen) White Slave: The Autobiography: The Godfather of Modern Cooking, Orion Books (London, England), 2006, published as The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness, and the Making of a Great Chef, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2007.
Marco Pierre White is an English chef and restaurateur. He is the youngest chef to receive three Michelin stars, the highest honor for a chef. White garnered a reputation for both his sensationalism as well as his cooking throughout the 1980s and 1990s, publishing a number of cooking books. In 2006 White published White Slave: The Autobiography: The Godfather of Modern Cooking, published the following year in the United States as The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness, and the Making of a Great Chef. The autobiography, told by James Steen, outlines the rise of the popular chef from his childhood through his days in the kitchen.
Jay Rayner, writing in the London Observer, commented that "although there is some good, chewy stuff buried deep in here on kitchen life and the work of mentors such as Albert Roux, Pierre Koffman and Raymond Blanc, who emerges as the greatest influence, it is mostly about settling scores." Tom Jaine, writing in the London Guardian, found that "by all accounts, he was an exceptional chef: extremely fast, with a very good eye, unerring taste and great skill in absorbing and reinterpreting the knowledge, and recipes, of others." Jaine remarked, however, that "White was always more than mere chef and this book might better be titled ‘Memoirs of a Bully.’" Jaine observed that "it is not easy to warm to our memoirist's endless boasting, despite admiring his feats of culinary legerdemain." Booklist contributor Mark Knoblauch wrote that the "enfante terrible of the kitchen" uses "uncensored prose" to tell his story. Writing in the Boston Globe, Sheryl Julian commented that "the subtitle of the new book … is both off-putting and intriguing." A contributor to the Open Critic Web site assumed that "people will stumble on this book and be attracted by its noir-ish good looks and promise of a bad boy betwixt the covers. What they'll discover is an asshole, a working class hero and the rudest chef in London." James Oseland, writing in Publishers Weekly, noted that he was looking for a soul-deep account of the chef, but found that White "provides no such insights, offering readers little more than a continual, atonal concerto of scuffles with customers and insults to co-workers." Oseland remarked: "I wanted to say to White as I was reading, stifle all that alpha male stuff and just cook." David Kamp, writing in the New York Times Book Review, brought up White's fiery temper and fantastic outbursts in the kitchen, but noted that "even as White recounts these tales, though, he does so without sensationalism or self-congratulation. He was not a willful provocateur, as Ramsay and Bourdain are, but a more primitive character, forever react- ing in the moment." Kamp concluded that White "may have been one of the most disagreeable bastards ever to command a kitchen brigade, but in the same guileless, unfiltered way in which he cursed out sous-chefs, he's told one hell of a story."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
White, Marco Pierre, White Slave: The Autobiography: The Godfather of Modern Cooking, Orion Books (London, England), 2006.
Booklist, April 1, 2007, Mark Knoblauch, review of The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness, and the Making of a Great Chef, p. 13.
Books in Canada, March, 2007, Brian Fawcett, review of White Slave, p. 26.
Boston Globe, January 19, 2007, Sheryl Julian, review of The Devil in the Kitchen.
Bulletin with Newsweek, December 19, 2006, Don Anderson, review of White Slave, p. 160.
Guardian (London, England), December 16, 2006, Tom Jaine, review of White Slave.
Independent (London, England), October 13, 2007, Deborah Ross, author interview.
New York Times Book Review, May 27, 2007, David Kamp, review of The Devil in the Kitchen, p. 10.
New Zealand Listener, February 17, 2007, Jolisa Gracewood, review of White Slave.
Observer (London, England), April 21, 2001, Euan Ferguson, "Marco: Man and Boy"; September 3, 2006, Jay Rayner, review of White Slave; October 21, 2007, Lynn Barber, "What's Eating Marco?"
Publishers Weekly, March 12, 2007, James Oseland, review of The Devil in the Kitchen, p. 46.
Spectator, December 10, 1994, review of Wild Food from Land and Sea, p. 39.
Time, December 4, 2006, Don Morrison, review of White Slave, p. 52.
Times Literary Supplement, November 17, 2006, Paul Levy, review of White Slave, p. 24.
Biogs,http://www.biogs.com/ (February 18, 2008), author profile.
Caterer Search,http://www.caterersearch.com/ (September 21, 2006), author profile.
Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (February 18, 2008), author profile.
Open Critic,http://theopencritic.com/ (February 18, 2008), review of White Slave.