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Page 3 Profile: Marcus Wareing, chef

The culinary world’s Simon Cowell?

The two-Michelin starred chef joined Gregg Wallace and John Torode to judge the semi-finalists of MasterChef on Thursday night, and it was clear from the get-go that the contestants were in for a rough ride. Saira was the first amateur cook to bring her food to the pass, and she soon wished she hadn’t.

Apologising for what appeared to be a perfectly edible mille-feuille, she said: “I wanted to make it  pretty.” “Pretty’s nice,” Wareing sneered, “but it’s all about  flavour.”

He doesn’t sound as bad as  Gordon Ramsay...

Ramsay’s sweary rants are legendary, but there is something disquieting about Wareing’s precise, technical put-downs that lend them a devastating power. As Dale placed his razor clams in front of the judges, it was clear from Wareing’s piercing stare that something was awry. He coughed as he ate the dish, before complaining: “I think I need a fire extinguisher”. Poor Dale had taken ingredients that were the “nectar of the gods” and “completely obliterated” them. Dale, unsurprisingly, ran off crying. Worse was reserved for the last semi-finalist, Larkin, who was “appalling in every way”. Wareing then refused to even taste his sludgy mess of a dessert.

Why is he so mean?

Perhaps it’s his anger at not having a third Michelin star for his restaurant at the Berkeley, or perhaps he is simply disgusted by anything less than perfection. Either way, it’s hilarious to watch. And he doesn’t just take it out on amateur chefs. On Great British Menu last year, he reduced respected chef Johnnie Mountain to tears by giving his fish dish a two out of ten.

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