Friday, April 3, 2015

Marco Pierre White’s ‘White Heat’: A Game-Changer, Revisited

In his heyday in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when he was the tantrum-throwing enfant terrible of the London food world, Marco Pierre White had a method for dealing with rude or obnoxious customers in his restaurants. It was called the Whoosh.

Here’s how it worked. A phalanx of waiters would swoop in on the offending table and clear away everything, including half-filled wine bottles, in a moment or two. At this point, the bemused diners might still be expecting fresh silver, port and chocolate cake. Instead they got Mr. White himself. He’d stride into the dining room and seize their tablecloth (whoosh!) with a bullfighter’s flourish. The humiliated guests didn’t have to pay, but their evening was over.

These details are related in “White Heat 25,” a new and updated edition of Mr. White’s vastly influential first cookbook, “White Heat,” first published in 1990. 


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