Wareing's worldview

In an excerpt from the full interview in the next edition of Foodservice Consultant, Jackie Mitchell talks to acclaimed British chef and restaurateur Marcus Wareing


Did you always want to be a chef?

“My father was a fruit and vegetable merchant, selling fresh ingredients for school meals. Then school meals changed into canteens that served burgers and chips rather than meat and two veg, so my father’s business disintegrated. He retired at 52. I worked there in school holidays and at weekends from age 11 to 15 so I was in touch with food. My brother Brian inspired me to go into the kitchen as he was a chef in a local Stockport restaurant. I delivered fresh produce.”

Do you enjoy TV work and would you like to do more?

“I get recognised for being on TV, which is it’s odd as I spend, on average, eight days a year doing it. I love Masterchef and what it does. I’d love my own show, maybe not at the moment. I’m patient.”

Why does the Michelin star system matter?

“With reviewers on websites, bloggers and Twitter – everyone’s a critic. What I like about Michelin is its history. It has been around longer than anything else. You can’t buy put a value on that experience.”

How much attention do you pay to critics?

“Food critics are experts who eat out everywhere. They have a better view because they eat out regularly. It’s their job to write their experience on the page. They are important. What also matters is the blogger, people on Twitter – they are customers. Anyone who pays the bill is important. Every client should be treated the same and with the same food standards.”

How do you relax?

“In my spare time I’m at home with the door closed. Or I’ll go running for an hour and a half. I learned to ski this year with my son Jake. He’d done well at school so we went away on a dad and son trip to Italy. We had fun, laughed, skied, talked. I’d rather do it now when I can afford to enjoy it. All the things I should have done growing up, I’m doing them now. From 16, when I went to college, to 40 it was all about work. I had no time for a social life. I’d spend any time off sleeping. Now, I can start to change my lifestyle. I don’t want to make my Dad’s mistake – he missed seeing his kids growing up. I’m not going to do that.”

The full interview with Marcus Wareing will appear in the Q4 2013 edition of Foodservice Consultant