07 April 2009, 14:36
Marco Pierre White will have the power to sack the celebrities who don’t live up to his exacting standards in Hell’s Kitchen – and he is warning that he will not tolerate anyone who acts the fool.
Marco thinks the changes to the show’s format will mean that this time round it will be harder for the celebrities but easier for him.
He says: “I’m the first chef to return to Hell’s Kitchen. The difference this time is I’ve been there before. I know the game, I know the rules. I know what’s expected of me.
“And when you have an understanding of how something works, it makes your life a lot easier. And by making my life a lot easier it means I make their lives a lot more difficult.”
“All I expect of them is to be respectful, hardworking, punctual, work as a team. If they don’t work as a team player, if they’re not punctual, I’ll sack them, it’s as simple as that.
“I’ve not got the time or patience at my age to tolerate fools.”
“What I don’t like or what I haven’t got the time for is people who want to clown about, people who seek attention. That’s the problem with most celebrities, they seek attention. It might work on the stage, at a cocktail party – it doesn’t work in Hell’s Kitchen.”
Marco will be able to focus his energies on just one team this time round and says there will be no hiding places for the contestants.
“Doing Hell’s Kitchen for the first time was tough. I’d never been there before. I’d never done reality TV before. I stepped onto a stage not knowing what to expect.
“Two kitchens, two teams - this time one kitchen, one team. All my energies go into that one kitchen so when my back’s turned they won’t be able to hide things like they did before.
“Last time I proved I could feed people to a standard with the celebrities that I had. This time I don’t have to prove it. It’s up to them to prove to me that they can do it.
“So the pressure will still be on. I’ll still have a tough job, but the reality is that my understanding of what is expected is greater and I know I can do it because I proved it last time.”
Marco’s ultimate aim is to make sure all the diners are fed each night.
“This time I would like to feed them all, because I think I have a duty - it was the way I was taught, to feed people to the best of my ability. But I think what’s important is that I want to see more out of the contestants this time. I don’t want to mother them as much as I did last time.”
“This time I’ll be sacking them and so the person who goes, the person who’s sacked it will be my decision and the difference is that I will make the right decision.
“Last time I didn’t always agree with the public’s vote because I saw everything. I know who’s good for that kitchen. And so, what it does do, it injects a reality into the system, it makes them more nervous.”
Marco has no qualms about sacking the celebrities.
“They know they can’t rely on their fan base to support them because these individuals aren’t stupid, they know the deal… and so this time they could be the biggest star with the biggest fan base but if they don’t deliver, they’re going home.
“Firstly to sack somebody is the easiest job in the world it really is. But let’s not forget they sack themselves. I just tell them. It makes my life easy. They’re disruptive, disrespectful, they’ve gone. Life’s easier isn’t it?”
And Marco will be cranking up the heat when he sends two celebrities out into the restaurant each night to wait on tables.
“If they don’t deliver in the kitchen two celebrities every night will be put into the dining room to clear tables, to carry plates, to serve. That’ll be tough because then they will have to deal with me, the other side of the pass and let’s not forget chefs aren’t famous for liking waiters.”
Marco adds: “Everybody wants me to fail - if I fail the celebrities fail. We can’t allow that. So therefore they have to listen.
They have to understand my strategy. They have to work with me. Anybody who gets in my way will not survive very long. Trust me.”
Last updated: 07 April 2009, 14:36