By Punam Verma
I have interviewed this man twice. The first time was in Dubai, where I was actually quite nervous because I had heard about the episode where he scolded Gordon Ramsay many years ago. Gordon Ramsay has talked about the incident himself, and mentioned that after he was shouted at he crouched down in the corner of the kitchen and just cried.
So you can see why I was kind of scared before my interview. Anyway, there is a happy ending to it. Chef Marco and I actually managed to get through the interview fairly peacefully, and then a miracle happened.
I shared a personal story with him, he then shared one with me, and suddenly I saw him for who he really was. His joys, his pains, his losses and gains had made him the person who he was today. Complicated, like all of us. We then had lunch together and he told me that I was the only person he had ever met who chewed oysters. (I knew I was special)
Anyway, when I found out he was in Birmingham to open the first Chophouse in the UK, I decided to hang out with him again.
This time, the nerves were no longer there. But like a wild animal, I still had to judge his temperament that day. When he asked if I would go over to him for the interview, I refused saying the background is better here for me.
I waited for another Gordon Ramsay crouching tiger moment (but this time it would be me). But funnily enough he was ok. Mmm...maybe he has mellowed out a bit, or maybe he was jet lagged after flying back from Australia, that he had no strength to argue about it.
So the interview went well, and in the end just like in my first interview, he went through my questions, dissecting each one. But this time I didn't panic, I just enjoyed the company of the complicated yet vulnerable chef that he really is.
Video Produced by Punam Verma
Additional Credit to Hotel Du Tour