If you consider yourself something of a predestinarian, you might say that becoming a world-famous figure in the fine-dining industry was always Marcus Wareing’s fate. By the age of 11, he was helping to run his family’s fruit and vegetable business in his hometown of Southport, and by 18 he had moved to London to work in the kitchens of The Savoy. Stints across the globe followed, from restaurants in New York to Amsterdam to France — until he became the head chef of L’Oranger, where he earned his first Michelin star aged just 26.
Today, he is the chef patron of Michelin-starred Marcus restaurant in Knightsbridge, while also running The Gilbert Scott, and Tredwells. Here, the culinary genius shares the books that have inspired him the most.
I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
I used to read biographies all the time, and didn’t think I would ever want to read fiction. But eventually, my wife persuaded me to read this book. Once I’d started I couldn’t put it down. The story is so thought-provoking and I now can’t wait for his second book.
White Heat by Marco Pierre White
This was the most incredible cookbook I had ever seen when I first bought it. You can actually see the pain of working in a kitchen carved into White’s face. All chefs my era will have this book at home, and I see chefs photographed who I know.
Setting the Table by Danny Meyer
This book was published two years after I began running my own restaurant, and it was so important. Danny Meyer, who is a successful restaurateur in the US as well as over here, gives direction from the front of house on the sheer importance of hospitality.
A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines
I read this book at school and I loved it. I can still remember it so clearly — possibly due to the film Kes. It is about a northern family with very little money, a boy with an older brother, and his attachment to a kestrel.
Down to Earth: Gardening Wisdom by Monty Don
Since buying a house in Sussex with a good sized kitchen and garden, I have avidly watched gardening programmes in order to improve my own skills. I am hoping that this book will give me some tips.
Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson
I have chosen this book, but actually many of hers would be just as worthy. I don’t tend to follow recipes, but my wife Jane pulls ideas from books — and there are a couple of great curry dishes. I am currently enjoying a muffin made by my daughter (a Nigella recipe!)
How Not to Die by Michael Greger MD
This is a relevant book at the moment, and was recommended to me by my sister-in-law. As we get older, my wife and I think more about what we eat. This book contains plenty of facts, but also links the things we eat to the prevention of disease.