Marco Pierre White: Why I love the North East

Top chef Marco Pierre White was on Tyneside yesterday to pay a visit to his restaurant in Newcastle city centre

Marco Pierre White visits his restaurant in Newcastle
Marco Pierre White visits his restaurant in Newcastle

Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White paid a visit to his North East restaurant as it celebrates winning a prestigious award.

Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, based at Newcastle’s Hotel Indigo, has won an AA Rosette, a national marker of excellence in fine dining.

The 51-year-old chef, once the youngest chef to ever be awarded three Michelin stars, said that although he is from Leeds and lives in London, he feels at home in the North East region. “It is nice to be back in the North East,” he said. “A lot of people don’t realise I’m a Northerner. Newcastle is, in my opinion, a great city.

“People here enjoy life; they eat and drink and go out and have fun.”

Marco said the restaurant, which has now been open a year, is regulary ‘packed’ and the Rosette showed the restaurant was growing into a success.

He said: “It is very nice for the chef and his team and the front of house staff.

“It is a celebration of lots of people working hard. It is important for the people who work in the establishment, but it is not important, really.

“The best guide to a good restaurant is your customer and good feedback. You measure a good restaurant on how full it is and it is always full here.”

Marco, who has trained top TV chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Curtis Stone, said the Steakhouse was providing people with choice.

“The future of dining is about affordable glamour,” he said.

“You can come in and have a course or you can have a sandwich at the bar or you can have the full three courses. You can make it as expensive or as inexpensive as you wish.”

He said he has a great affection for the North East because it is “not as ambitious” as the South and its people are more in touch with their roots.

He decided to open the Steakhouse in Newcastle as he feels the people have a “romantic” outlook and paid tribute to the dedication of his staff.

He said: “I don’t think they [the people] are as ambitious. I think they are more down to earth.

“When I was a boy my father became a chef so I became a chef. If my father had been down the mine, I would have been down the mine. I think there is something really rather beautiful about that and I think it is quite a northern thing. I think we are more romantic. I’m a great believer in ‘a tree without roots is just a piece of wood’.

“I think ambition is without question the most dangerous thing in the world because the reality of it is there is no loyalty. You are ruthless and you don’t care. In the North, there is a craving to do the job well. It is about craft.”

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