Marco Pierre White interview

Emma Roberts
Marco Pierre White as he appears in his eponymous Channel 5 show. // Chef Marco Pierre White (Channel 5)
Marco Pierre White as he appears in his eponymous Channel 5 show.
MSN chats to celebrity chef Marco Pierre White about the state of the UK’s restaurant industry.
The original superchef (he counts Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal as past students), Marco Pierre White is currently appearing on our screens in Channel 5's show, Marco Pierre White's Kitchen Wars . The show sees couples from different areas competing to become the best restaurateurs in Britain - cooking and serving up their best dishes to a highly critical Marco...
Kitchens are tough places. They're not as tough as they used to be, but they're tough.
In the show, you have couples rather than single contestants - why did you choose to do this?
"I've always been fascinated by couples and they tend to run very good restaurants and they tend to work together in achieving their dreams, their visions. And a lot of what you'll see on the show, is one half of the couple will sometimes give up their profession to join their partner and then run the business together, which feeds their family. So, it becomes a way of life rather than a job. Kitchens are tough places. They're not as tough as they used to be, but they're tough".
Were you surprised by the high standard of cooking that was presented to you on the show and, do you think it represents the standard of cooking in our country as a whole?
"Yes. Britain has a lot of good restaurants these days which are empty. Just because not many people go to them, doesn't mean that they're not good restaurants. What a good restaurant to me is, when I walk into an establishment which is nice and tidy, they've got nice, friendly staff and nice food and the service is just right".
What's your favourite dish?
"I love gulls' eggs with homemade mayonnaise and celery salt. You can get them from Lymington, but only when they're in season".
I have never had an enjoyable meal in Wales.
You travelled the country - what were your best and worst dishes?
"I have never had an enjoyable meal in all of Wales. I went to Snowdonia and had the worst meal of my life. I tried lava bread on the show, which I hate. But the person who made it made it edible - he was a genius. The problem I get, is that people try too hard with me, they do fancy things. Strange things happen when I go into restaurants!"
You said that you hoped that the show will support the UK's restaurant industry. How do you think your show will do this?
"Firstly, these couples come on the show and share their stories. When people share their stories, they inspire people and listening to these stories, people will want to join the restaurant industry. In a couple of months' time, there will be lots of young men and women leaving schools, out of education and a little bit lost. So, they might watch my show and it might inspire them to knock on the door of their local restaurant. Because, you don't need qualifications to come into my world. As long as you're respectful, punctual and prepared to roll up your sleeves and work hard, there's a job there for you. Once you've gained the knowledge that you need, it could take you to every corner of the Earth..."
You can watch Marco Pierre White's Kitchen Wars on Channel 5. Visit the Channel 5 website for details.
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