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Leeds nostalgia: Marco flirts with Queens

Marco Pierre White
Marco Pierre White
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Dateline: July 1998: Leeds-born celebrity chef Marco Pierre White, pictured, was rumoured to be in talks with The Queen’s Hotel where he planned to bring his unique style of cooking as part of a push to take the MPW brand worldwide.

White, the first British chef to have been awarded three Michelin stars, was running several restaurants in London including the one at the Hyde Park Hotel.

Ilkley, 11th April 1993'''Marco Pierre-White with Box Tree head chef Michael Lambie, left, and restaurant manager Andrew Young, right.

Ilkley, 11th April 1993'''Marco Pierre-White with Box Tree head chef Michael Lambie, left, and restaurant manager Andrew Young, right.

He was then the biggest of all the cheeses and he had perceived, before most other high-profile chefs, that the faded dining rooms of many of that city’s once grand hotels could be revived to offer a platform for a newer style of cooking.

The original ‘enfant terrible’ among the cheffing community had spotted long before anyone else that Leeds would be the place to be when it came to quality dining. Turn the clock forward 20 years and he was more than on the money.

However, the pairing with the Queens never came off. Instead, the celebrity chef who gave us Gordon Ramsay, returned to his home city in JUne last year, 40 years after he left, to open Marco’s New York Italian.