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Caterersearch.com 100: Marcus Wareing

01 July 2010

Overall ranking: 60

Chef ranking: 18

Marcus Wareing - Snapshot

Marcus Wareing is chef-patron of Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, which opened in September 2008. His eponymous restaurant, on the site of the former Pétrus, which is ran with business partner Gordon Ramsay, is his first solo venture having cut ties with Gordon Ramsay Holdings (GRH). Wareing previously operated the two-Michelin-starred Pétrus with GRH, the one-Michelin-starred Savoy Grill, and Banquette, an American-style diner at the Savoy.

Marcus Wareing - Career guide

Marcus Wareing, who was born in Southport in 1970, attended Stanley High School before attaining City & Guilds qualifications at Southport Catering College.

Wareing moved to London, aged 18, to work as a commis chef at the Savoy under chef de cuisine Anton Edelmann. Two years later he moved to the legendary Le Gavroche, where he worked for Albert Roux, and it was here that he first met Gordon Ramsay. Between 1991 and 1991 he honed his knowledge of classic French cuisine while worked in various properties, including the Point, just outside New York; the Grand hotel in Amsterdam, with Albert Roux; and Gravetye Manor near East Grinstead in West Sussex.

In 1993 Ramsay asked Wareing to join him as sous chef in the launch of his new London venture, Aubergine, in Chelsea, which opened in 1993. Wareing took a break from his role as sous chef at Aubergine in 1995 to work alongside Daniel Boulud in New York and Guy Savoy in Paris. It was during this period that he won the 1995 Young Chef of the Year title. In 1996 he returned to the UK to become head chef of A-Z Restaurants' new London eaterie, L'Oranger, a business in which he and Ramsay both held a stake; and a year later, in January 1997, he was awarded his first Michelin star.

However, he was sacked in 1998 - the day after Ramsay quit A-Z - following a row with the company over proposed four-year contracts and non-payment of money from his 10% stake.

With Ramsay's backing he soon bounced back in 1999 as chef-patron of Pétrus - named after his favourite wine - in St James's Street, London. Pétrus scooped a Michelin star within seven months of opening and was awarded the AA's ultimate accolade of five AA rosettes.

His role in the Ramsay empire expanded in 2003 as he took over the Savoy Grill - which achieved its first-ever Michelin star in early 2004; moved Pétrus into the Berkeley hotel to replace Pierre Koffmann's two-Michelin-starred La Tante Claire; and opened Banquette - his version of a US diner - above the Savoy Grill. He converted the old Pétrus site into the more accessible La Fleur, but closed it in early 2004 due to lease complications.

In 2006 Marcus Wareing and Simon Rimmer competed in the northern heat of the BBC television series Great British Menu, fronted by former royal correspondent Jenni Bond. Wareing beat Rimmer and went on to the final round. In the final, the public selected Wareing's egg custard tart with garibaldi biscuits for the Queen's 80th birthday banquet, which took place on 17 June 2006.

In 2007 Wareing published his first solo book, How to cook the perfect…. His second book, One Perfect Ingredient, followed a year later. He has contributed to a number of other books, including The Cook's Book and Knife Skills.

In May 2008, following months of rumour, the Berkeley hotel confirmed that it intended to work directly with Wareing to launch its own restaurant, and he took on the lease in September 2008.

Marcus Wareing - What we think

Marcus Wareing has always been regarded as one of Britain's leading chefs, winning the Catey Chef Award in 2003, but perhaps he didn't get the credit he deserved while working under Gordon Ramsay. Indeed, he worked so closely with his mentor that he was nicknamed "shadow".

It was only a matter of time before Wareing let go of the apron strings, although it was possibly messier than he would have liked, despite admitting in 2009 that he wanted to "engineer a break" that would allow him to set up on his own.

"I didn't want to be in another man's world any more. I was stubborn and I dug my heels in," he told the Sunday Times. "I picked a fight to engineer the break. I don't really think he did anything wrong; it was just me feeling how much I wanted to be on my own."

Marcus Wareing - Further information

Read more on Marcus Wareing here >>

Marcus Wareing admits engineering rift with Gordon Ramsay >>

Marcus Wareing talks about his new restaurant, Marcus Wareing at the Berekely >>

Read more about the Caterersearch.com 100, the list of the most influential people, here >>

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