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Interview With Marco Pierre White, Host of Chopping Block

Marco Pierre White: "You Have a Duty to Put Reality Into TV"

If you're a fan of reality cooking shows, you may have heard about NBC's upcoming show, Chopping Block, which airs March 11. The show stars Marco Pierre White, the UK's original bad-boy chef, who has been known to make even Gordon Ramsay cry.

When I spoke to White today, the Chopping Block host was, in stark contrast to his deviant reputation, incredibly gracious, even-keeled, and — dare I say it — sentimental. He denounced bad behavior in the kitchen and on his show ("I will not tolerate bad language or anybody raising their voice") and insisted on being called by his first name ("Marco's my name; chef's my trade"). The one negative thing he had to say, however, was about Hell's Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay's reality cooking show. Get to know the chef when you


On Hell's Kitchen and host Gordon Ramsay: I've seen nothing original about Hell's Kitchen. Gordon is allowed to conduct himself as he wishes. It's quite interesting, watching someone's legacy unravel. Of course, it would be easy to swear, to shout, to suppress people, and to cut people down. Do I want my dear children seeing that? There's a very fine line between being a bully and a protector. [But], let's not forget Gordon Ramsay is a great cook.

On what sets Chopping Block apart from the rest: I will never be a performing seal. I do not perform for a camera — I am myself. If you do reality TV, then you have a duty to put reality into TV. If you don't do that, then what you're doing is questioning your integrity. The one thing we do deliver is reality. That's what reality TV should be all about.

On his contribution to the restaurant industry: I showed people what was possible. I helped people create their dreams. I remember Heston Blumenthal on his first day in the kitchen, Mario Batali on his first day in the kitchen, Gordon Ramsay, as a little boy, coming to work for me. All I did was share my dream with them. All you can do is share your story, your philosophy.

On the organic and healthy food movement: I came from the most humble side of society. They can't afford organic. If everything was organic, what would the price of bread be? Of eggs? If you're going to question farming, then question farming on every level. Let's not forget that there are a lot of people out there who have not a lot of money.


Join The Conversation
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
his book "the devil in the kitchen: sex, pain, madness, and the making of a great chef " is a great read , totally recommend it.
nancita nancita 8 years
I recently read an autobiographical essay by this chef, who I had never heard of before. But he sounds incredibly brutal in the kitchen, just totally over the top. I guess if you know what you're getting, it's valuable to work for someone like that. But it's funny that he judges GR for cutting people down, since his kitchens sounded far more brutal! Interesting interview though.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well i love that he's just ganging up on GR - but i guess you need to have some point of comparison for the US audience since few people here are probably familiar with him. i'll probably tune in just to see what he's about but to be honest, i'm not necessarily into the whole bullying aspect of reality cooking tv
pioneers pioneers 8 years
It looks like we're all going to have to fight for him. Cook off?
doogirl doogirl 8 years
I think I love this man!
fuzzles fuzzles 8 years
@elle, It's not just you! LOL
elle100 elle100 8 years
is it just me or is this guy seriously sexy? he looks like an ex-pirate or something. kinda hot.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
His comment about the price of organics makes me love him a little bit.
fuzzles fuzzles 8 years
Ooooh! I'll have to check out this one!
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