Marcus Wareing

Marcus Wareing

Marcus Wareing

Few chefs can say they have served custard tart to the Queen, but then Marcus Wareing – who runs the Michelin-starred Marcus at the Berkeley among several other restaurants – is not like other chefs. Also known for Masterchef: The Professionals, he defines his inimitable cooking style as 'not British cuisine, not French cuisine – it’s Marcus cuisine.'

With a father who was a fruit and vegetable merchant and a brother working as a chef, Marcus Wareing, who was raised in the north west of England, has always been surrounded by food in one way or another. Given his status as one of the most high-profile successful chefs working in Britain today, it seems somewhat surprising that he was initially more interested in following in his father’s footsteps than those of his brother. However, seeing no future in the family business, his father encouraged Marcus to pursue a different career and his brother suggested he undertake a catering course at Southport College.

From being – by his own admission – a 'mediocre school student', Marcus suddenly found himself top of his class, catching the eye of more than one of his tutors as being a naturally gifted chef. After shining in a local catering competition, it wasn’t long before an ambitious young Marcus was recommended for a position at the Savoy, working in a kitchen with over 100 other chefs.

After leaving the Savoy he worked at the prestigious Roux establishment Le Gavroche before moving on to work at some of the finest restaurants around the world including The Point in New York, The Grand in Amsterdam, Guy Savoy in Paris and Aubergine, Gordon Ramsay’s first restaurant. At the latter, Marcus took on a position as sous chef, an experience that would redefine his approach to hard work.

Marcus’ precision and dedicated work ethic paid off and the chef achieved Michelin stars during his time at both L’Oranger and the Savoy Grill. In 1999 Marcus became chef patron of the much lauded Pétrus, the restaurant attached to the opulent Berkeley Hotel, earning two Michelin stars during his nine-year tenure.

Deciding to forge his own path Marcus took over the lease of Pétrus in 2008. Rebranded as simply Marcus in 2014, the restaurant underwent extensive refurbishment to reflect the chef’s desire to shake up the notoriously formal fine dining scene. His vision was a flexible, relaxed restaurant that would still serve up cuisine of the highest quality and serve the needs of whoever sat down to eat. It was a formula that proved successful and the restaurant has retained its place in the Michelin Guide ever since.

Marcus' meticulous style is as much about applying imaginative good taste to ingredients as dazzling technique. His cuisine marries the classic with the contemporary, resulting in dishes that feel refined but humble at the same time.

Despite his immense success – after all, this is a man who has cooked custard tart for the Queen on Great British Menu – he still maintains the same relentlessly dedicated work ethic he learnt from his father. He is usually in the office at Marcus by 8.30am, dividing his time throughout the day between business meetings, tastings and services. Marcus is still a presence in the kitchen too, but these days he spends most of his time on the other side of the pass, providing guidance to a talented collection of young head chefs.

With an impressive cluster of accolades and a notable television career, Marcus has managed to become a true household name – no easy feat for any chef. And even after all these years, it seems he will remain on our screens and our bookshelves for a long time yet.