Marco Pierre White is an English chef and restaurateur best known as the head chef on the third season of the British reality cooking series Hell's Kitchen, in 2007.
White started out life in a small town near Leeds. His father, grandfather and brothers were all chefs, so it’s no surprise he had an interest in cooking. His mother died when he was six.
Marco left school at 16 and started work as a kitchen apprentice at the Hotel St George in Harrogate. On his first day he was ordered to blanch, peel and deseed five boxes of tomatoes, a job which left him in tears.
But he survived the initiation process and quickly worked his way up to a job at the two-Michelin starred Box Tree in Ilkley, Yorkshire, where he fuelled his obsession with food and began to form his food philosophies.
He then moved to London and found a job working at Le Gavroche run by Albert Roux and began his classical training as a commis chef. This job came to a hasty end after Marco flaunted the “Roux robot” rule of not answering back to your superiors.
After working at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, where his boss Raymond Blanc encouraged him to pursue his own passions, Marco got his big break.
In 1986 – aged just 24 – he became a shareholder and head chef at upmarket burger bar Harveys, transforming it into a classy and sophisticated restaurant.
He built up a reputation for ruthlessness - throttling his staff, hanging chefs by their aprons on hooks on the walls and slashing their uniform with his knife if they complained of being too hot. But his tough attitude paid off – he was awarded his third Michelin star at the age of 33.
Unsurpisingly, the press dubbed him “London’s rudest chef”. Since then, he’s opened Canteen in Chelsea Harbour with Michael Caine, Quo Vadis in Soho with Damien Hirst and Frankie’s in Knightsbridge with Frankie Dettori.
He’s since gone on to open more than 30 restaurants, building up a portfolio that’s reputedly worth £50-million.
In 2007 he was the head chef on the third season of the reality cooking competition series Hell's Kitchen.