Good Food Blog
My Life on a Plate: Marco Pierre WhitePosted at 10:06AM, 07 December 2011 by Caroline Hire - Food editor, bbcgoodfood.com
Marco shows his softer side with early food memories of his gran, his mum as his biggest influence and how he might have been a toy maker.
My earliest food memory is in Italy as a boy, with my nonna (grandmother), my mother and my aunt (my mother's sister), sitting under the table while they all prepared the vegetables for the minestrone.
The first thing I ever cooked was porridge as a boy at home.
I started my career at the St George Hotel in Harrogate. I didn't really learn much about food there but what I did learn was how to organise, how to work very hard and how to use a knife.
I think the greatest meals I ever had in a technical sense were at Le Gavroche and at the Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons along with Raymond Blanc, in Britain. Then I've had other great meals at Harry's Bar in Venice. Not necessarily the greatest food but just a great meal with great people.
My favourite item on the Christmas roast dinner plate would be the turkey. With the trimmings. Good gravy, cranberry sauce, chipolatas and sage and onion stuffing.
I take pleasure out of everything I do including washing pans and wiping down my work area.
I take pleasure out of everything I do, including washing pans and wiping down my work area.
I have to say that what inspires me more than anything are the memories of my mother. As simple as that, which has assisted me in my work over the years - and has been my driving force.
My best piece of cooking advice for people this Christmas? Be organised and have a strategy in place and when possible prepare certain things the day before. For example, the chipolatas, the sage and onion stuffing, the cranberry sauce, the braised red cabbage, (if you're serving cabbage). Peel your potatoes and cut them, store them in water overnight. Things that will be as good the next day or better the next day - prepare them a day in advance, to remove the workload on Christmas Day.
The easiest way to cook a turkey to perfection is to break it down. So you cook the breasts on the crown, which have been stuffed in the cavity where the wishbone is. Stuff the thighs underneath the skin and cook them on the chopped up bones which you can get from the turkey drumsticks, winglets and the backbone. The breast should be cooked at 66C and the thigh at 72C and the way to achieve this is by investing a small amount of money into a meat probe.
If I wasn't a chef... I think I would have liked to have been a toy maker. But toys in the old fashion sense rather than modern day toys.
Marco Pierre White is the face of Lean On Turkey, which highlights the taste and versatility of cooking with fresh turkey.