The ‘godfather of modern cooking’, Marco Pierre White has carved out a reputation as a pioneering chef and restaurateur, having become the first British chef to win three Michelin stars at the age of 32.
Lately, White has developed a more mindful approach to eating, and during the 2020 lockdown, he was inspired to go vegan for a year, which saw him sleep better, have more energy and lose 30kg.
Responding to modern shifts in diets, White is now inviting us inside the home with his new BBC Maestro course, offering his own stories, secrets and methods to help you elevate your home cooking.
What was the vision behind the BBC Maestro course?
Well, as I always say, in life, it’s about inspiring people. Once you inspire people then people will want to have a go. That’s what cooking’s all about, seeing the beauty in food.
Let’s not forget Mother Nature is the true artist and when you can take something as simple as a potato and transform it into something which is quite magical, quite beautiful, and quite delicious…it’s extraordinary. You can take a root vegetable, like a white celeriac, to make a fondant or take some endive and make a tarte tartin with it.
It just shows you how versatile and how delicious vegetables are.
Did going vegan for a year change your relationship to vegetables?
I’ve always been a fan of vegetables, they contribute to everything. Without vegetables it’s not a dinner.
You recently endorsed Redefine Meat’s 3D printed plant-based meats. How does it compare to traditional meat?
If you don’t wish to eat meat every night of the week, it’s a great alternative. Sometimes when you just eat vegetables you don’t feel fulfilled. That’s the beauty of Redefine for me: it’s plant based, it’s vegetarian and I always feel fulfilled after my dinner or my lunch.
What impresses you about this new alternative meat tech and where do you see it going in the future?
Well firstly, I think it’s the cleverest thing I’ve seen, ever, in my 44 years of being in the industry. I think it’s going to grow and grow and grow.
I think it’ll become more popular and people will see the beauty of it. I’m not saying ‘Stop eating meat’, but for people who want to cut a bit of meat out of their diet, it’s the perfect replacement. It’s delicious!
Do you subscribe to food trends?
I never have, I’m a classicist.
What is a kitchen rule you never break? And a rule you like to break?
I never take shortcuts and, secondly, 1 never break rules in the kitchen.