How a family tragedy helped Marco Pierre White achieve success

The fiery King of the British culinary scene, Marco Pierre White, has revealed that seeing his mother die when he was just six years old set him on a lifelong quest to succeed.

“Had I not watched her die and be carried away, I wouldn't be the man I am today because my values are so deep rooted, I have never forgotten where I came from.” Pierre White told Melissa Doyle in an exclusive Sunday Night interview.

“I will be very honest that I have made many mistakes in my life and there's nothing wrong with making mistakes, as long as you take the knowledge from the mistake and that's why I became a very good cook.”

Marco was able to thrive in the pressure cooker environment of some of Britain’s most famous kitchen’s. At 26, he opened his own restaurant Harvey’s, where he won his first Michelin star, cooking’s ultimate accolade. By the age of 33, he had three stars, the youngest chef ever to achieve this.

Marco Pierre White has been dubbed the first celebrity chef.

His determination for perfection came at a cost. He found himself working 14 hour days, seven days a week and he earned himself a reputation for being a tyrant in the kitchen.

At the age of 37, Marco decided he had enough and he did the unthinkable.

“Winning three stars is the most exciting journey of any chef’s life. Retaining them is boring. And that's why one day I said to myself in '99, I'm not happy anymore. Not happy. And that's why I retired from the stove.”

Marco Pierre White at his country estate Rudloe Arms.

Marco is living a quieter life now, spending more time than ever at his country estate Rudloe Arms, close to nature and back to where his passion for food began.

“When you start to fall in love with nature that really assists you in the kitchen because you have this automatic respect for produce and the more you love it, the less you do to it. You must always allow food to be itself, never overwork it, never force it.”

Follow Sunday Night on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Got a story tip? The best way to reach us is by email at