Gordon Ramsay is likely the first name that pops into the heads of millions when asked who the most famous chef they know is It is true, many would argue, that Gordon is the most famous chef as a result of intense media exposure and cult of personality Yet, the reality is that the now world-famous chef was once apprentice to a behemoth of the culinary world.
Marco Pierre White is still regarded as a godfather restaurateur and cook.
But his reputation has taken on a more subtle tone in recent decades.
During the Nineties, Marco was at the peak of his game.
In 1987 he opened his first restaurant, Harveys, in Wandsworth Common.
Countless tales have passed through the doors of Harveys.
One includes a customer asking for chips with his lunch – which Marco personally hand-cut and cooked, and charged £25 for his time.
He would regularly eject patrons from the eatery if he took offence at their comments.
It was at Harveys that he took a young Gordon under his wing as one of a handful of apprentices.
Marco once made him cry early on in his career, recounting in 2006 to The Independent: “I don’t recall what he’d done wrong but I yelled at him and he lost it.
“Gordon crouched down in the corner of the kitchen, buried his head in his hands and started sobbing.”
As Gordon rose to stardom and prepared to open his own restaurant, Marco kept a watchful eye over the budding chef.
In 1998, Channel 4 commissioned the miniseries ‘Boiling Point’ that followed Gordon during the most intense months of his life in the lead up to the opening of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.
It was during episode three that Marco confides to the documentary’s producers Gordon’s highly competitive nature.
He explained that, for better or worse, it creeped into even the simplest of activities in Gordon’s life.
The admission came during a piece that shows Gordon and Marco fishing together.
He explained: “Gordon is one of the most competitive people I’ve ever met in my life.
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“Whatever he does must be a competition.
“Gordon wants to catch more fish than Marco.
“Gordon wants to catch a bigger fish than Marco.
“And vice versa.”
Marco and Gordon, in the public’s eye, have had a complex relationship over the years.
In a 2012 GQ interview with Piers Morgan the chef revealed the event that had pushed their friendship over the edge.
Piers asked him what he thought of Gordon as a chef, and said: “Did you think he was good? Be honest about his abilities before you fell out.”
Marco replied: “I’ve never fallen out with him,” to which Piers said: “You severed the relationship.”
Marco explained: “I had good reason to.
“There were several things, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was when he arrived at my wedding with a camera crew and filmed from the bushes.
“Six months later, I watched his TV show and there he was, winking at the camera at my wedding.
“If he’d asked me if he could film some of it to help his show and career, then I would have let him.”