One thing is clear: Marco Pierre White loves New York City—Little Italy, in particular, with all its grit and glory. With Marco’s New York Italian, he aims to bring a fresh slice of the Big Apple to the capital.
"Exactly the meal you wish. It’s not my meal; it’s yours,” exclaims Marco with an uncommon candor in today’s celebrity chefs, certainly rare among a chef who has heavily influenced the world’s great chefs and been awarded three Michelin stars. His latest venture—Marco’s New York Italian—has just opened, offering a fresh take on Italian food. Yalla asked him a few questions about his new eatery.
What do you love about New York?
I love the dirt, the grit, and the extreme beauty of it. It's very real. Though it may be not the very best food in the world, you will have the best dinner in the world as you walk down through the streets and ponder where to eat. Whether you eat from a small shop at the counter or in a fine restaurant, it's always an amazing experience to
So, you enjoy eating in mom and pop shops?
Of course! I prefer real food, made by real people with no pretense—this is New York. I like eating, but today’s world isn’t about eating as much as it’s about Instagram. But, if you truly look at the actual food past the lines of sauce and perfectly placed bits, the sauce ratio to protein is wrong, the garnish ratio to protein is wrong. Food is being manipulated and so are diners. Chefs now are creating dishes for Instagram rather than following their palettes. While it’s true we eat with our eyes first, no one wants to eat something beautiful that tastes bad.
Who’s behind this: the chefs or the diners?
A lot of chefs today want fame; the famous want more fame and the non-famous want to be famous. I crave the ordinary. Great chefs have three things in common. Firstly, they accept, and they respect that mother nature as true artist and their core. Secondly, everything that they do is an extension of themselves. Thirdly, their gift is to give diners insight into the world that inspired them.
What can you expect in a meal in Marco’s New York Italian?
Exactly the meal you wish. It’s not my meal; it’s yours. What we offer is a fun night out. We all work hard throughout the week, so why would anyone want to be dictated to on their evening out?
Simple as that?
I just want the food to be a menu that I’d want to eat. I want to give diners affordable glamour and options, not dictate to them what they must eat and how they must eat it. Simple as that. Just real food, generous portions, things which are real at a price people can afford. Sounds novel. Sounds impossible, but not for Marco Pierre White who has a long history of doing exactly what he says and a harbinger for change in the industry.
Marco’s New York Italian, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, 02 654 3238