White Heat

by Marco Pierre White

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Original Publisher
Octopus/Mitchell Beazley
Date of publication

Recommended by

Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef, Consultant, Writer, Creative Director at ICE, NYC

I am likely just one of many professional chefs who consider this book a sort of modern classic. At a time when British food was still scoffed at, and long before anyone ever heard of Gordon Ramsay, battered copies of White Heat were circulating among cooks on this side of the pond. Whites book is a portrait of the first rock star/gastro-punk chef on his meteoric rise toward running a restaurant empire that would be awarded a constellation of Michelin stars. Perhaps more interesting than his recipes are the grainy black-and-white photos of life in the kitchen trenches, captioned with quotes from the maniacally restless chef, to a certain degree glamorizing the sweat, stress, and drive of a young and passionate chef obsessed with perfection. I still get a little pumped when I see it today.

Christopher Archambault


A book that broke the mould. The enfant terrible at the cresting of his powers. Perfectly chronicled in Marco soundbites and Bob Carlos Clarke’s stark canonizing of the man. Partly to blame for the martyr game us chefs play that is only now starting to wane under the glaring lights of human rights and health and safety. Difficult reading the recipes; but the ravioli, the lamb en crepinette, the peach Melba version. Wonderful. ‘At the end of the day it’s just food, isn’t it? Just food.’

Shane Osborn


Rure rock and roll. This book made a generation of young men want to become chefs. I arrived in the UK when this book had just come out, I read it night and day for 3 months until I ate at Harvey's. When I split from my first wife she took revenge by carving White Heat into pieces as she knew how much this book meant to me. And yes I still have it .

Allan Jenkins

Editor, Observer Food Monthly,

Twenty-five years old now, the book that launched a thousand careers and inspired many of the cooks I admire to want to be chefs, if only at first to look and cook like him, have a shot at a supermodel girlfriend. To be treasured less for the recipes than the attitude and images but still an important book.

Bill Buford


For its attitude, its uncompromising extremism, and the photography, including one blurry shot of the young Gordon Ramsey getting beaten up in the kitchen. Interestingly, the dishes themselves now seem dated, but the intensity is raw and charged by a take-no-prisoners purposefulness: it changes lives.

Tom Parker Bowles

Restaurant Critic, Food Writer and Broadcaster

The first food book I ever bought. Those glowering snaps of MPW both scared and thrilled me. The original genius chef, swearing and smoking and saucing with equal passion. Powerful photographs and timeless recipes, this book proably did more to start the cult of the celebrity chef than any other.

Alan Coxon

Chef and TV presenter

The first ever TV show and cookbook that actually showed an honest reality of a real working kitchen , the stress (and as the title suggests), the heat ! . As a young chef, this was a revelation and delight if not shocking to the rest of the population at the time!

Michael O'Hare


This book seduced every chef in the country into the idea that cooking was cool, that being a chef was akin to being a pirate or a rock 'n' roller. Weirdly I've never liked the food in this book but the iconic imagery inspired a generation.

Jean Cazals

Food photographer

Black and white reportage on Polaroid film and a clever lay out made that book timeless. The food photography itself however had an old feel about it unfortunately which otherwise would have make that book even more iconic !

Simon Majumdar

Food writer, author and broadcaster

It is sometimes easy to forget just how important MPW was to the gastronomic explosion in the UK and to creating the world of the celebrity chef as we know it now. This is the one book that just about every chef I know owns.

Alexis Gauthier

Chef and owner of Gauthier Soho

The book that invented the rock n roll chef. Marco Pierre White single-handedly made the kitchen cool. Without him, Great Britain would have no chef culture today. He was the king.

Paul Gayler


Thought by many to be the most influential cook book of the century in terms of great food, his philosophy and teachings, this book leaves a legacy that will last for years.

Terry Durack

Restaurant critic, author, columnist

A game-changer if ever there was one. It set in motion a chain of events that led to meeting Marco many times. He is an extraordinary, complex creature and a great chef.

Tony Singh

Chef and TV Presenter

This was my generation's defining book: the pictures, the food, the attitude of a homegrown council estate boy who never trained in France - and he rocked.

Laura Mason

Author and food historian

Another fascinating view into a different world, though not necessarily one I’d like to inhabit. Brilliant lemon tart recipe.

Matt Gillan


I received this book as present on my 18th Birthday. I found it inspiring and exciting, during my early years as a cook.

Curtis Stone


It’s about this drive to be the best at something and I can remember reading it and being turned on by it.

Simon Haigh

Food and Beverage Director

As eye opener and I liked Wild Food From Land And Sea as much but it was not as raw as this book

Sara Jenkins

chef/owner Porsena & Porchetta

As a young chef it legitimized smoking for all of us!

Carianne Wilkinson

Vice-principal of Silwood Cookery School

Another WOW book from my younger days as a chef.

Donovan Cooke

Executive Chef and co-owner, The Atlantic Restaurant

Institutional, iconic and massively influential.

Alan Murchison

Retired chef, duathlete and performance nutrition specialist

Legend, iconic, clean food, thought provoking.

Joel Serra Bevin


Black and white rockstar and classic recipes.

Monica Eng

Writer and broadcaster

For pictures and prose.

David Moore


Andrew McConnell

Executive Chef and Owner

Paul A Young

Master Chocolatier & Director, Paul A. Young fine chocolates

Adam D’Sylva

Executive Chef

Martine Carter

Director, Sauce Management

Franck Dangereux

Co-owner of The Food Barn

Kim Woodward

Head Chef of Gordon Ramsay Group’s Savoy Grill

David Gillmore

Head Chef at James Street South, Belfast

Maxime Bilet

Founder of Imagine Food and author

Chris Stueart

Co-founder, FOOD-X

Tom Kerridge

Owner/Chef Patron of The Hand and Flowers and The Coach, Marlow

Daniel Doherty

Executive chef, Duck & Waffle

Vivek Singh

Executive Chef & CEO: The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Kitchen & Cinnamon Soho

Wylie Dufresne

Former chef and owner of wd-50 and Alder restaurants

Jennifer Yong

Founder, Jenius Social

Alexander Talbot

Author and Blogger at Ideas in Food

David Rowley

Designer and art director

Iqbal Wahhab

Iqbal Wahhab, OBE FRSA, Chief Executive Officer, Roast

Andrea Petrini

Food Curator - Writer - GELINAZ! Road Manager

Jason Atherton

Chef and restaurateur

Scott Hallsworth

Chef and restaurateur

Philip Howard

Chef and Owner, The Square

James Murphy

Food photographer

Paul Robinson

Food writer, stylist and photographer

Chris Cosentino

Executive Chef/Co-Owner, Cockscomb and Co-owner/Partner, Boccalone Salumeria

Richard H Turner

Group Executive Chef, Hawksmoor

James Steen

Journalist, author and food writer

Andrew Pern

Chef and owner, The Star Inn at Harome

David Higgs

Chef, restaurant owner and partner

Hamish Ingham

Executive Chef Bar H Surry Hills

Jamie Bissonnette

Co-chef/owner of Toro NYC, Toro Boston, and Coppa

Dan Hong

Executive Chef, Mr. Wong, Ms G’s, Papi Chulo, El Loco

Gary Rhodes

Chef, restaurateur, author