Award-winning chef Marcus Wareing has some big shoes to fill when he steps into the MasterChef kitchen this week.
But Marcus says that replacing Michel Roux Jr on the new series of MasterChef: The Professionals won’t be as nerve-wracking as cooking for Michel’s father when he was a teenager.
As a young chef making his way in the industry, Marcus worked under Albert Roux at Michellin-starred restaurant La Gavroche, where he received some stern lessons in the art of timekeeping.
“I got a rollicking from Albert once because I was in the kitchen too early!” says Marcus, who’ll be joining Monica Galetti in the MasterChef kitchen over the next six weeks.
“He came in at six in the morning and I was preparing for the day ahead and he walked in and started shouting at me! In his mind a well organised chef doesn’t need to be in early. I remember it like it was yesterday.
“Did I leave and come back later? No I just got my head down and carried on!”
Known as a hard taskmaster in the kitchen, Marcus will be demanding the very best from this year’s contestants and he likes to think he’d have done pretty well if MasterChef: The Professionals had been around when he was a young chef.
“I’d have been confident in my ability, but probably wouldn’t have got much sleep the night before!”
Masterchef: The Professionals premieres tonight (Tuesday, 4 November) on BBC2