TIPS FROM THE GODFATHER OF MODERN COOKING: MARCO PIERRE WHITE

Author International Hotel School   |  May 15, 2017

Marco-Pierre-White

Our IHS Students get to work with a wide array of talented Chefs from the Hospitality Industry at the Good Food and Wine Show. From the likes of local South African Chefs like Siba Mtongana , J’Something to international Chefs Jamie Oliver, George Colambaris and Jan Hendrik. We’re immensely thrilled to announce that culinary maestro, Marco Pierre White is coming to the Good Food & Wine Show 2017! A crowd favourite, our students are over the moon with excitement to get a chance to work with him at this year’s favourite foodie expo.

Marco Pierre White has been there and done it all he is a renowned British Chef, restaurateur, and television personality. After moving to London from Yorkshire aged 16 with just a bag of clothes, a box of books, and a dream, he went on to work under some of the best chefs in the world, including Albert Roux and Pierre Koffmann. He has been dubbed the first celebrity chef, the godfather of modern cooking and the enfant terrible of the UK restaurant scene.

White was, at the time, the youngest chef ever to have been awarded three Michelin stars, and still holds that title to this day. He has trained famous chefs such as Mario Batali, Gordon Ramsay, Curtis Stone and Shannon Bennett. He has written a number of bestselling books and had numerous TV shows both in the UK and in Australia.

So, when Pierre White speaks, it’s worth paying close attention. Here then are his 10 rules for success, it’s a really good reminder, not only of his undeniable charisma, dogmatic work ethic and determination required to reach the highest level in becoming a professional Chef.

1. Pursue Your Dreams

“You have to make the emotional, the personal investment to make your dreams come true.” – Marco Pierre White

And that dream I had when I was 17 years old, I was now 37 years old, so, for 20 years I’d worked to realize my dream. Things don’t happen overnight.

2. Fight for your Beliefs

Many people have condemned me for being controversial. I was never controversial.

“If you’re going to be a revolutionary, then fight for what you truly believe in.” – Marco Pierre White

As I’ve always said, most of my reputation is the product of exaggeration and ignorance. Did I shout? Yes I did. But, I led from the front. I nailed my colors to the mast. I fought for my profession. If you’re going to be a rebel, make sure you win. If you’re going to be a revolutionary, then fight for what you truly believe in. And that’s all I ever did. And the boys behind me, they followed me.

3. Be Consistent

My father sent me to Harrogate, which was a spa town, and told me to find a job. The most daunting task in my life.

And I went to Harrogate and I found a job at the Hotel St. George in Harrogate.

“Consistency is born out of discipline” – Marco Pierre White

And I started there on the 20th of March, 1978. It wasn’t great food, but what they taught me was how to push, how to run, how to be consistent, because consistency is born out of discipline. How never to be late. How to go to work when you’re not feeling well and let the chef send you home.

4. Take Advantage of Opportunities

Success is born out of luck. It’s an awareness of mind that takes advantage of that opportunity.

“If you don’t take advantage of your opportunity, you’ll never realize your dreams” – Marco Pierre White

You’ll all be confronted with opportunity. You must take advantage of it, because, if you don’t take advantage of your opportunity, you’ll never realize your dreams. Whether you want them or not is irrelevance. You don’t know that until you achieve it.

5. Transcend Your Insecurities

I think what gave me the drive to succeed was my insecurities. Reading, writing, struggling. It gave me that individual drive to prove myself, because I’d been belittled at school. I’ve never been taken serious. I was always looked upon as being a fool, as being stupid. So, it was the fuel behind me, and that’s what made me work far harder, was to prove to my father and other individuals, including several teachers, that, you know, maybe I struggled with reading and writing, but I had and possess other great qualities. So, had I been dealt with as a child, I may never had the energy or the fuel to drive me to get to where I got.

6. Inspire Others

I’m not a celebrity, I’m not a talent, I’m no one special, I’m like everyone else in this world. What I crave is ordinary, which I said to you earlier, is I come to work and I do my job, and my job today, really, if I’m honest, is inspiring the young, like having the catering students come and visit me this afternoon and show me respect and kindness. And I only hope that my stories and my philosophies and my thoughts inspire them. The last thing I said to them today is a story is more important than a recipe. A recipe can confuse you, but a story can inspire you. When I was a young boy, I had that privilege of working with people like the great Michael Lawson at The Box Tree.

“I only hope that my stories and my philosophies and my thoughts inspire them.” – Marco Pierre White

The great owners of The Box Tree, Mr. Reed and Mr. Long. Ken Lamb the baker. Albert Pierre Kalfon, the great Ramon Balan. What did they really teach me? Was how to tell stories. How to inspire people. That’s what’s important.

7. Learn From Your Mistakes

I’ve had lots of bad luck in my life. But, I think having bad luck is equally as important.

“What we have to do is reflect, take the knowledge from the experience, and then allow it to enrich our life.” – Marco Pierre White

Because, when you have bad luck in life, you have to reflect, you have to take the knowledge from that experience. We’ve all been treated badly. We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all had bad luck. So, what we have to do is reflect, take the knowledge from the experience, and then allow it to enrich our life. It’s as simple as that. And, let’s be honest, when people do you have any regrets Marco, I say, “No.” Because had it not been for all those mistakes I made I wouldn’t have the knowledge that I have today, I wouldn’t have the experience that I have today, because mistakes are fine as long as you take the knowledge from the mistake.

8. Have a Strong Work Ethic

And, so, the one thing my father gave me, which is really key, was that work ethic.

That ability to get myself up in the morning no matter how tired I was to push myself through those pain barriers.

“Work ethic and great insecurity was what got me to where I went to.” – Marco Pierre White

And, again, the combination of the loss of a mother at six and, then, being sent out to work at 10, I mean, started work at five o’clock in the morning through the milk round, being dropped off at 8:45 at school in the milk van, you know, that work ethic, so, that combination of those two, work ethic and great insecurity was what got me to where I went to.

9. Discover Yourself

I turned my dream into reality. But, sometimes reality is not what you think it is. Winning three stars was the most exciting journey of my life. Then, the day comes where you’re king of your world. And people views of you now change, because you’re up there, and you have to play a systematic game. It’s a formula. You just roll out the same dishes day in, day out. And then, you know, I sat down one day and thought to myself, “Do I really want to do this anymore? It’s not pleasurable.” And, so, I sat down and I thought to myself, “What are my options?” My first option was to continue working six days a week, between 80 and 100 hours a week. My second option, live a lie. Pretend I cook when I don’t cook. My third option was to pluck up the courage from within, to give back my stars, to abdicate from my position, to accept that tomorrow I’m unemployed, I have no status.

I turned my dream into reality. But, sometimes reality is not what you think it is.” – Marco Pierre White

But, what do I have? I have an opportunity to discover myself as a person and to let go of everything that I’ve ever worked for, to let go of my status, to walk away from my dream is a very tough decision. And, one day, a little thought just drifted into my mind. And that little thought was that I am being judged by people who have less knowledge than me. So, what is it all worth? Very little. And, so, that’s what gave me the courage to walk away.

10. Fight The Ego

You have to fight the ego every day. The ego is the most extraordinary part of us, because, when we think we’ve suppressed it and we’ve beaten it, it manifests itself into another form and another shape and starts to take you over again.

“Greatness comes from humility” – Marco Pierre White

And, so, every day you have to fight the ego and allow the humility to come through, in my opinion, and, by allowing humility to come through, because, let’s be honest, success, which you want to speak about, is born out of arrogance. People thinkin’ they’re good. But, greatness comes from humility. And, being successful is not good enough. It’s all about being great at whatever we go in life. You can have the most humble job in the world, but you can be truly great. You can be a humble guy, but you can be a great person.

We can’t wait for our students to learn as much as they can from Marco this year. We look forward to sharing their experiences and obviously many selfies on our social channels very soon, so stay tuned!

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