Marco Goes Stateside
Accompanied by Black and White Hospitality Chairman and CEO Nick Taplin, Marco delivered a keynote presentation where he addressed 1,500 chefs and hospitality professionals. Speaking candidly about his life, his journey to three Michelin stars and how he famously handed them back he also talked about his food philosophy and passion for selling a 'night out'.
The largest and most prestigious organisation of professional chefs in North America, The ACF is regarded as being the go-to organisation in terms of setting the standard for excellence for chefs across the US.
Nick Taplin, Chairman and CEO of Black and White Hospitality said: "Marco's reach goes way beyond the UK and Europe and it's clear he is revered worldwide. I have travelled all over the world with Marco and was humbled by the respect and appreciation that was shown to him during our visit.
"During his keynote address, you could hear a pin drop and the standing ovation at the end was incredibly moving. It is also very obvious that there is a wealth of talent based in the US that sits alongside a great passion to serve good food that uses a lot of superb home-grown produce.
"It was also very interesting to meet US-based restaurant owners and hoteliers and to hear their views on the sector. It's certainly a key geographic area that presents Black and White International with some interesting opportunities as we look to expand our franchised restaurant network overseas and we'll be looking to catch up again soon with some of the other delegates we met when we were there."
"There are presenters that fly in, take the stage, and then fly right back out but clearly Marco had a different plan. He didn't come to talk from a stage to chefs in a dark room. He came to mingle. He set up camp in the ACF Neighborhood, opened a bottle of wine and chatted with ACF chefs for four hours. And that was before he took the stage.
"Maybe it was that so many of the chefs had spent time with Marco that afternoon or maybe it's because he simply has that gift, that ability to engage large audiences, but for many attendees, Marco felt like a friend, simply sitting at their table - some words of wisdom, of experience, some ideas, many questions, wine and a lot of laughter.
"Many memories were made this year, but this is one that will stick: Marco Pierre White singing 'Happy Birthday' to the American Culinary Federation at our National Convention and it was, in his own words, 'stupendous'."
Rocco Paradiso, who interviewed Marco on stage during the visit added: "Having the distinct pleasure to meet Marco was amazing and getting to know him on a more personal and deeper level was awe-inspiring!
"From the jump, he had so many people engaged, entertained and excited. He shared stories about the craft, the importance of artistry and dreams and the need for passion, drive and focus to achieve.
"With so many conflicting views these days it's nice to know that food is not only at the heart of everything that we do, but can also bring us all together. Whether you are eating at a Michelin-starred restaurant or eating pizzas at midnight, sharing wine and making new friends, we're all just people.
"Marco reminded me of that and why I was lucky enough to get into the hospitality industry.
"We are privileged to be able to manipulate emotions in such a positive way and create amazing experiences. Food evokes memory, memory sparks passion and passion is what feeds our souls. Those words rang true with both Marco and Nick I am looking forward to many more ACF experiences with them both!
Marco said: "My time in America was short but most fulfilling. I was touched by the presentation of an honorary membership to the ACF and look forward to working with the organisation on future culinary tours and academy visits. I am already looking forward to attending Dallas in 2020 and speaking again to an enthusiastic and passionate audience."