This week I have been


The 2011 Tour de France race guide.


An Idiot Abroad

Listening to

The xx


(Or rediscovering) Hamlet - Nicki Greenberg's beautiful new version, thanks to the fabulous Snarkattack, who invited me along to see Nicki talk about the creative process behind the book.


  • An enormous serve of bangers'n'mash and a nourishing pint of Kilkenny at the Town Hall one dismal Tuesday evening.
  • A "Chachi" - chianina meatball sandwich - another brioche donut and some amazing chocolate tart at Beatrix, which Essjay has reviewed.
  • A lazy Sunday lunch at The Crimean. The Polish hunter's stew (bigos) was just the thing to revive me after a chilly bike ride.
  • Generous piles of fried food with oodles of chillies and sichuan peppercorns at Sichuan House
  • Succulent suckling pig at Liberteene.
  • An array of bright, zesty flavours at Chin Chin, where the only problem was having to choose only some of the items from what looks to be a menu that is all hits, no filler.


Food TV – Marco’s Kitchen Burnout

Marco Pierre White puts three celebrities to the test in a busy London restaurant. Their challenge: to run its professional kitchen single handedly.

There are three words that have me automatically adding an unheard-of show to my viewing schedule. Marco. Pierre. White.  There is something compellingly menacing about him, which makes you wonder where the line is between the “real” Marco and the kitchen performance without questioning that there is such a line.  His two seasons of Britain’s Hell’s Kitchen featured regular segments where Marco, in a tone that always suggested barely controlled rage, would share his philosophies and anecdotes. Unfortunately I can’t remember any of them, but perhaps I recorded some when I blogged it here and over on Reality Ravings way back when. Great British Feast was an enjoyable ramble around the countryside with Marco and his “devoted sidekick”, Mr Ishii.

Unfortunately, this show is really a lukewarm remake of the UK Hell’s Kitchen – which was always a celebrity beast – and unfortunately provides neither a showcase for Marco or his guests. The format is slightly different to HK – each “celebrity” (I haven’t recognised any of them so far) is playing for him/herself.  Marco doesn’t provide Masterclasses to his celebs, he just watches them get into the weeds during service, repeats phrases such as “where are your herbs, your herbs, your herbs, your herbs, your herbs, your herbs”, and tries to encourage them to “buy” his time.  At one point per minute, buying Marco’s time will take a chunk of the maximum 100 points available from the diners.

I’ve watched the first two episodes, and I’ll keep watching as it’s on at a good “background” timeslot, but it’s certainly not great food TV, reality TV, or MPW.

Marco’s Kitchen Burnout is on Lifestyle Food, Sundays at 5.30pm.

6 comments to Food TV – Marco’s Kitchen Burnout

  • MPW is going to be in Australia next week for continental stock. Am trying not to judge!

  • Oh dear! I knew he was shilling packaged food in the UK, and an American tweeter told me that he’s into advertising over there, too. I was just relieved that he hadn’t hit our commercials here. Ah, well! He does love cooking with his HP sauces and ketchups, though, so… I am trying to reconcile my mad Marco love with this. Sob.

  • So did they ever find the the herbs?

    I think he’s shilling for Knorr now, which, in the grand scheme of things, could be worse. Weight Watchers dinners come to mind.

    I’d love for us to get some of his tv over here, especially as the Cooking Channel prides itself on being for “foodies” (god, can’t we come up with another word?). I have mad love for Ramsay and would love to see another chef lose his mind on weekly tv.

  • Funnily enough, the dish wasn’t meant to have herbs! Perhaps it was a deliberate call-back to his last season of Hell’s Kitchen where he harangued poor Linda Evans (yes! Crystal Carrington) who was working the crab station with a chorus of “Crab, crab, crab, crab, where’s my crab? I’m waiting for my toast, toast, toast, toast. How long for my crab? How long for my crab? Run, run, run, run, come on!”.

    In some respects, I don’t mind that he shills some processed stuff. Unlike a lot of other chefs, he actually celebrates some pretty trashy ingredients in his cooking (HP Sauce springs to mind) so I believe he probably would crack a stock cube quite happily. Most of the chefs who are in our faces promoting processed foods can also be found on their shows being all “from scratch”, so that jars.

    I heartily recommend seeking out his series Great British Feast. Different beast to the Hell’s Kitchen/Burnout/Chopping Block type of show but quality Marco.

  • Awww… I love Marco.. well that’s a bit over.. and love is too strong a word.. but there’s a weird addiction I have to watching him on the TV :)
    msihua´s last post ..International Incident Gumbo Party – Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo

  • So – I haev now watched one episode of this train wreck – where are the celebs? Where is Marco’s charm? The whole repeat repeat repeat chorus gets really old realy quickly – I don’t think I can stand to watch another minute.

    Great British Feast on the other hand…. yes!

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