Marco Pierre White
On one hand, when I see him in some of the Knorr videos, it saddens me a little, I don't know if he believes some of the things he says or not, is he just chasing the money? Who knows. On the other hand, I look into the past at what he has acheived, The Oak Room, 3 Michelin Stars, 5 AA Rosettes, 10/10 in the Good Food Guide, 3/3 Stars from Egon Ronay, 19/20 from Gault Millau and believe that he's probably one of the greatest chefs to have lived. What do other people think of him? Why has he seemed to have swayed so far from his previous beliefs about food? Or are we the problem, being too snobbish about it all?
Oh come on, the guy has kids and bills and a fairly narrow window to cash in on his name. Does the endorsement make him a lesser chef?
I'd happily endorse hemorrhoid cream or Depends adult undergarments or any manner of goods for celebrity endorsement dollars but so far no one has asked.
That reality competition show he starred in on network TV in America a few years ago would seem to point to selling out for the paycheck. He didn't seem comfortable in that role, and the show had such poor ratings that they scrapped part of the season and leapfrogged to the finale. He came off as very intimidating. Comparing him to Gordon Ramsay would be like the difference between a snarling Schutzhund and a snappy terrier.
I also remember seeing him on Martha Stewart's pre-incarceration syndicated show and thought he came off as gruff and charmless, though that could just be a reflection of being uncomfortable on camera.
I saw one episode of that show. MPW was completely wooden, Reminds me of the terrible sitcom with Emeril Lagasse playing, surprise, a chef on a TV cooking show. He was awful to watch. The bam! guy could not act to save his life. Even if he was playing himself. Some people have no screen presence.
I recall going to the Criterion in '96 or '97 for the first time on a business dinner. Opulence of the setting was more than matched by the food. One of the most memorable meals I've had even though it was a business function. Bloody expensive though. I remember having to go through quite a bit of justification with the expense control types.
He was all the rage in London during the late '90s when I worked there. My sense is that he changed the dining scene in London. My guess is that he's just cashing in on his name and career. Not that different than seeing Wolfgang Puck selling pots and pans on TV here in the states. Doesn't take away from the fact they are both great chefs. Is Usain Bolt a lesser athlete for doing adds on TV?