Lancashire celebrity chef Marcus Wareing hangs up his apron after 35 years in the kitchen

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He estimated that he would have to charge a £600 for a standard dinner for two people at his restaurant were it still open.

Lancashire’s celebrity chef and Masterchef the Professionals judge has decided to hang up his apron after 35 years in the kitchen.

Marcus Wareing from Southport made the decision after celebrating Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley Hotel, in Knightsbridge, London, last year and now says he has no plans to go back.

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The 53-year-old has had critical acclaim and earned a a coveted Michelin star during his career which spanned four decades.

Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg WallaceMarcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace
Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace

“I don’t need to open another restaurant. I’ve done a lot. Since the age of 25, I’ve been dealing with chefs and rotas and suppliers and bills and accounts and HR and customers and complaints.

“It’s been fabulous. But do I want to do it for ever? No chance. I don’t want to continue on the same boring path. I wanted a change in my life and to do different things,” he told The Times.

Father-of-three Wareing, started out as Gordon Ramsay’s understudy at various restaurants including Aubergine and had been dubbed his protégé.

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Gordon RamsayGordon Ramsay
Gordon Ramsay | Getty Images

He famously battled Gordon Ramsay complaining of having to use ‘tweezers to put food on plates’.

The pair were also embroiled in a legal battle over the name of restaurant Pétrus which both wanted to keep but Ramsay eventually won, led to a rift between the pair.

Wareing, who is just about to launch a new BBC Two show, has been a judge on BBC series MasterChef: The Professionals since 2014, a spin-off of the original MasterChef series.

The news of the chef’s permanent departure from the industry comes three years after he closed another restaurant Gilbert Scott in 2021.

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He added that his TV work had come in the way of operating his businesses and was conscious of how his staff looked at him.

Marcus Wareing attends the GQ Men Of The Year Awards. Image: Jeff Spicer/Getty ImagesMarcus Wareing attends the GQ Men Of The Year Awards. Image: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images
Marcus Wareing attends the GQ Men Of The Year Awards. Image: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images | Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

“I was missing out because I wasn’t there. I’d go into the restaurant, and I felt that the staff were looking at me like: where have you been?”

In addition to being busy, Wareing suggested that the fine dining experience had become dull for him with finnicky food preparation and high prices for dinners.

“They’re quiet. We use water baths; tweezers to put food on plates. No one chops anything anymore. No one sautés anything.”

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He estimated that he would have to charge a £600 for a standard dinner for two people at his restaurant were it still open.

“Who goes out and has £600 for two for a meal?” he questioned.

But the star appears content with his new path, grateful he is not forced to continue for financial reasons.

“I’ve chosen a new path,” he said. “I’m free of my professional kitchen to do the things that I want to do. A lot of chefs have to carry on cooking to the end because they need to pay their bills.”

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He credited Ramsay with doing “a lot for my career” and revealed that the hot-headed TV personality had sent him a gift with a personal message.

“He sent me a beautiful book not that long ago from his restaurant group that I really was appreciative of and he wrote a fabulous message in it. And so whatever happens in the past it’s water under the bridge. We’ve all moved on.”

His revelation comes just days after fellow MasterChef judge, Monica Galleti, announced the closure of her restaurant, Mere. Named after Galetti’s mother, Mere specialised in South Pacific and French cuisines, and was described as “an elegant and contemporary restaurant, offering a relaxed yet refined dining experience”.

Wareing will be launching his new BBC Two show, Simply Provence, on May 6 at 6.30pm.

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