The recipes in White Heat were simple, and that’s one of the most revolutionary things about the book. Before White Heat, chefs seemed to compete with each other about who had the most inaccessible recipes.
Marco Pierre White, perhaps due to his cockiness, didn’t care about that, he just wanted to share his dishes. No wonder it was such a game changer.
2. Marco Pierre White was a good looking cat
White Heat 25 is riddled with shots of a scraggly looking, cigarette smoking, wild-eyed young Marco Pierre White. And yet, despite the camera picking up all his intense eccentricities, one thing is very clear, the man was a looker. Another reason why he beats the hell out of former protégé now sworn enemy Gordon Ramsay (google ‘Gordon Ramsay+puffy’ to get a scare).
3. Black and white photography is still underrated
Why don’t we see more of it? Simple, clean, and striking, the photography in White Heat 25 is superb.
It’s an oldie but a goodie. The more you love doing something, the more you do it, and the better you become at it.
Some of the Marco’s quotes in White Heat 25 are just extraordinary, and exhibit perfectly just how much passion he has for everything to do with cooking. It is his life’s work, and it shows.
5. Marco understands the difference between great food and food people like
It sounds like an odd statement, but it makes sense. I love canned Baked Beans on toast. I doubt many restaurants will be serving it on their dinner menu.
Marco knows that. In the competitive restaurant industry, sometimes you just have to give the people what they want. Only then can you tell them what they need. This philosophy emerges in one of my favourite quotes of White Heat 25, when describing the recipe for his Assiette of Chocolate.
“This is disgusting; it’s a horrible dish. It’s vulgarity pure and simple. It’s a dish invented for suburbia; it should be called ‘Chocolate Suburbia’. Why do we serve it? Because we’re commercial. Because, at the end of the day, you have to please the customer. And this does”.
by Marco Pierre White
A 25th anniversary edition of the classic cookbook from the ‘enfant terrible’ of the UK restaurant scene, with a new 64-page section including previously unpublished photographs and commentary from Jason Atherton, Gordon Ramsay and Tom Kerridge.
Once in a blue moon a book is published that changes irrevocably the face of things. White Heat is one such book. Since it was originally produced in 1990, it has gone on to become one of the most enduring classic cookbooks of our time. With its unique blend of outspoken opinion, recipes and dramatic photographs by the late legendary photographer Bob Carlos Clarke, White Heat captures the magic and spirit of Marco Pierre White in the heat of his kitchen.
This 25th anniversary edition features brand new material, including photographs from the late Bob Carlos Clarke and contributions from James Steen, Lindsey Carlos Clarke and a host of high-profile chefs: Jason Atherton, Sat Bains, Mario Batali, Raymond Blanc, Anthony Bourdain, Adam Byatt, David Chang, Phil Howard, Tom Kerridge, Paul Kitching, Pierre Koffmann, Gordon Ramsay and Jock Zonfrillo.
About the Author
Marco Pierre White, the original ‘enfant terrible’ of the food scene, has earned his place in British culinary history as much for his strong temperament as for his unique talent as a chef. The youngest chef ever to earn three Michelin stars, he has become a food icon of our time. His proteges include the internationally renowned Michelin-starred chefs Gordon Ramsay, Mario Batali and Jason Atherton.
About the Contributor
Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
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