Chef Marco Pierre White is as witty as they come but that comes as no surprise – his reputation precedes him. The restaurateur is known for his acerbic wit as much as he is known for his signature Wild Mushroom Risotto. His forthright comments about Michelin stars and the state of the food industry right now are devoid of any sugar coating and diplomacy that one has grown accustomed to in this world run by PR professionals. The Britisher has also made it evident that for him, the plating and the display are not as important as the story the food tells – it’s the smell, the association and the chatter that are the perfect condiments.
World on A Plate (WOAP), one of India’s most coveted culinary festivals has already had a triumphant Mumbai edition this year and by popular demand, the team brought down White to South India where he curated a thematic fine-dine dinner and brunch paired with India’s best wines and cocktails, and also host 2 exclusive masterclasses, alongside the biggest and best culinary talent from across cultural borders.
In a conversation with MW, White speaks about food, flavour and the flaws made by chefs these days.
What is the one food trend you want to go this year?
It’s not that I don’t approve, but I don’t understand ‘small portions by 20 or 80 courses’. Good food is food that is honest, real and from the heart.
How do you think chefs can use their platform to battle world hunger issues?
The first thing that chefs should do is give their time and use their hands to make a real meal.
If you had to pick three dishes for your last meal on Earth, what would you pick?
I would not pick three dishes but three people to sit with, dine with and share my life with and converse with. Family is most important to me.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you have liked to be?
I would have loved to live in nature, and work outdoors, maybe be a riverkeeper. It was my father who wanted me to be a chef.
What is your take on Instagram food bloggers?
I do not subscribe to social media and hence, I do not have an opinion here.
What is the one advice you would give to all budding chefs?
Work hard and learn more. Fight for what you believe in and remember that things don’t happen overnight. Remember that greatness comes from humility and a great work ethic.
What is the one mistake all young chefs inevitably make?
I hope there isn’t just that single one, but that Chefs make multiple mistakes as that is the only way one can learn and gain knowledge. You have to make mistakes to grow.
What is the difference you’ve noticed in North Indian dishes as compared to South Indian ones?
I don’t have one yet, as I still have to travel across this fine country. However, if there ever were places on earth that should be best known for great vegetarian cuisine, it would be India or Sri Lanka.