Cookery lessons with Marco Pierre White on the menu at Hayling hotel

STAR INGREDIENT Marco Pierre White cooks at the Sinah Warren Hotel in Hayling Island.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (120181-6)
STAR INGREDIENT Marco Pierre White cooks at the Sinah Warren Hotel in Hayling Island. Picture: Paul Jacobs (120181-6)
Some of the Mayville High School pupils who have become members of Mensa   Picture:  Malcolm Wells (180425-5690)

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AS HE carefully stirred a mushroom risotto and laughed with other chefs about different ways to cook stock, it was hard to imagine this was the man who made a young Gordon Ramsay cry.

But celebrity chef Marco Pierre White showed that he’s mellowed since those days when he visited the Sinah Warren Hotel in Hayling Island yesterday to cook a selection of dishes.

A total of 17 chefs from Warner Leisure hotels had travelled from across the country for the demonstration. They included four from Hayling Island and four from the Isle of Wight.

In the morning Marco cooked steak, chicken and risotto, all the while talking about the best techniques and seasoning.

In the afternoon he went on to showcase fine dining recipes featuring sea bass and steak.

Marco, who at the age of 33 became the youngest chef to be awarded three Michelin stars in the UK, has taught a number of well-known chefs in his kitchens, including Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal.

Talking about the day, Marco said: ‘I think it’s very nice for chefs to share their story.’

With people becoming more interested in what they eat, he added: ‘People care about whether it’s good quality and they like to experiment. They have a great interest in food.

‘The majority of people just want to cook, and be interested, and get excited about food.’

But Marco’s philosophy for home cooking is to keep it simple.

He explained: ‘Why make it complicated? I tend to do risotto and pasta, something I can throw into the middle of the table.’

Martin Plummer, who has been manager of the Sinah Warren Hotel for the past five years, said: ‘The day went really well. He’s very much an inspirational figure for a lot of chefs.

‘They’ve been talking with him about their interests, their concepts and thoughts on cooking.

‘I also think he’s been really personable and the chefs have really enjoyed the chance to meet him.’

Darren Lunn, 42, the head chef at the hotel who lives in North End, Portsmouth, said: ‘It went really well. He’s great, and he’s been really down-to-earth with the guys.’