Dubbed the Godfather of modern cooking, Marco Pierre White is one of the most celebrated chefs in the world. Landing his first job in a professional kitchen at 16, eight years later he became Head Chef and joint owner of Harveys in London with a kitchen staff that included a young Gordon Ramsay. By 33 he was the youngest chef to ever be awarded three Michelin stars.
Years of success followed and after having the most recognised names in cooking work under him including Heston Blumenthal, Curtis Stone and Mario Batali he famously retired from full time cooking in 1999.
For the duration of his career, Marco became renowned for his ruthless behaviour in the kitchen just as much as his world class cuisine.
Why Hell's Kitchen? What is it about this show that resonates with you so much?
Hell's Kitchen is without question the only show that gives the viewer a true insight into how a professional kitchen is run. You don't get anywhere more natural for me than in a professional kitchen.
What is it about Australia that keeps you coming back?
What's special about Australia is the people. They are wonderful, truly kind and honest. But secondly, they serve good food and really good coffee. I'll get on a plane for a really good coffee. I can't say that about many countries.
I also like the Australian food scene, walking down the beach. And I like just sitting on a corner drinking a coffee. I don't need to go to museums or sky diving, I was invited to sky diving the other day... I couldn't think of anything worse. I just like to relax with Australians.
Whatare you expecting from the celebrities?
To be very honest, I have zero expectation. Because if you step into that arena with expectations, then you'll be let down. You'll be let down and frustrated.
What's important is allowing people to be themselves. By them being themselves, not just myself, the viewing public will see who they are and what they are, because the kitchen exposes everybody for who they are. So just be yourself and by being that person you tell me who you are.
What advice would you give them?
Stay focused, stay disciplined, observe. That's it. If they do that, then their chance of survival is greater. And secondly, every day spent in the kitchen there is more knowledge. With that approach, they've got a chance of winning.
What will be your leadership style and how will you manage these teams?
I always lead from the front, and it's up to them whether they wish to follow.
How do yougo about setting the menus and challenges for the celebrity contestants?
It's about creating a menu which is possible, that the contestants can serve all the diners within a time frame and most importantly to a standard that I approve.