For anyone too young to remember the early ’90’s, it’s pretty difficult to sum up the impact of White Heat at the time. Marco was the “enfant terrible” of the fine dining scene, “the volatile but beautiful Marco”, he of the mercurial mood swings and exquisite dishes.
Until White Heat crash-landed on our desks, we’d been raised on a diet of the Roux brothers – and on television in 1990 we had the sedate meanderings of Anton Mosimann – the most outlandish cook the public had been widely exposed to was Floyd! Suddenly this maelstrom of a chef was dragging the food scene around in his wake. White Heat was first issued in the year after Marco received his second Michelin star – he’d been awarded his first star 1987 – and the 2nd in 1988. This book charts that hectic rise to the top, and captures those heady days perfectly.
What we couldn’t anticipate at the time was that, within the decade he would have become the youngest and first British chef to be granted 3 stars (in 1995), and that disillusioned and unwilling to commit to the gruelling workload, he’d quit the pass and return his stars in 1999.
White Heat 25 is the perfect retrospective: as well as becoming the fifth reprint of the original book, it includes a new section written by the chefs who worked with Marco, or followed on from him. The following chefs contributed to this anniversary edition: Jason Atherton, Sat Bains, Mario Batali, Raymond Blanc, Anthony Bourdain, Adam Byatt, David Chang, Phil Howard, Tom Kerridge, Paul Kitching, Pierre Koffmann, Gordon Ramsay and Jock Zonfrillo. Some have shared their memories of Marco, others have commented on the impact of White Heat. The foreword is written by Albert Roux.
The book contains the following recipes:
Assiette of chocolate; basic mashed potato; basic pasta dough; basic wine stock; biscuit glaçé; blanquette of scallops and langoustines, with cucumber and ginger; braised pig’s trotter ‘Pierre Koffmann’; brunoise of ginger; chicken mousse; chicken stock; clarified butter; classic vinaigrette; confit of garlic or shallots; court-bouillon; cream vinaigrette; creamed watercress; crème plèissière; crispy fried leeks; escalope of salmon with basil; fettuccine of vegetables; feuilletine of sweetbreads; feuiletté of roast rabbit, spring vegetables, jus of coriander; fillet of sea bass with ratatouille and an essence of red peppers; fish stock; fish velouté; fresh tomato purée; fricassee of mushrooms; fricassee of sea scallops and calamares with ginger, sauce nero; gratin of red fruits; hot foie gras, lentilles de pays, sherry vinegar sauce; hot mango tart; julienne of orange zest; jus de langoustines ou d’homard; jus de nage; lemon tart; lentilles du pays; lobster with its own vinaigrette; Madeira sauce; nage of sole and langoustine with carrot; navarin of fish; noisettes of lamb en crepinette, fettuccine of vegetables, jus of tarragon; passion fruit soufflés; pâte à tulipe; peach melba; piece of Scotch beef, confit of shallots and garlic with a red wine and shallot sauce; pigeon en vessie with a tagliatelle of leeks and truffles, jus of thyme; potage of shellfish with truffle and leek; potato rosti; puff pastry; raspberry coulis; ravioli; ravioli of lobster with a beurre soy sauce; red mullet with citrus fruits; roast button onions; roast guinea fowl with wild mushrooms; roast pears with honey ice-cream; roast pigeon from Bresse with a ravioli of wild mushrooms with a fumet of truffles; salad of red mullet, sauce gazpacho; savarin of raspberries; spaghetti of carrots; stock syrup; sugar cage; sugared nuts; tagliatelle; tagliatelle of oysters with caviar; terrine of leeks and langoustines, water vinaigrette; tranche of calves’ liver with a sauce of lime; tuille baskets; turbot with baby leeks, a ravioli of scallops, choucroute of celery with a grain mustard sauce; veal stock; vegetable stock; woodcock, lentilles de pays, with a red wine sauce.
I miss Marco, I miss those days and all his restaurants, and I particularly miss the Mirabelle disco ball! <sighs>
You can get your copy of White Heat here >