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.
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.’
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 !
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.
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.
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.
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.
Author and food historian
Another fascinating view into a different world, though not necessarily one I’d like to inhabit. Brilliant lemon tart recipe.
I received this book as present on my 18th Birthday. I found it inspiring and exciting, during my early years as a cook.
It’s about this drive to be the best at something and I can remember reading it and being turned on by it.
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
chef/owner Porsena & Porchetta
As a young chef it legitimized smoking for all of us!
Executive Chef and co-owner, The Atlantic Restaurant
Institutional, iconic and massively influential.
Vice-principal of Silwood Cookery School
Another WOW book from my younger days as a chef.
Retired chef, duathlete and performance nutrition specialist
Legend, iconic, clean food, thought provoking.
Black and white rockstar and classic recipes.
Writer and broadcaster
For pictures and prose.
Iqbal Wahhab, OBE FRSA, Chief Executive Officer, Roast
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