Masterchef’s Marcus Wareing: It’s down to parents to give their children a work ethic

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Jayne Cherrington-Cook
·4 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Marcus Wareing believes a work ethic is something children should get from their parents  (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Maybelline New York)
Marcus Wareing believes a work ethic is something children should get from their parents (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Maybelline New York)

At 18, he got his first job as a chef at The Savoy and at just 26, he earned his first Michelin star, one of only a handful of chefs to be recognised at this age. In 2008, aged 37, he opened his first restaurant. With a 30 plus year career in the hospitality trade, it’s clear that Marcus Wareing works hard, a trait he says his father passed down to him.

Speaking on White Wine Question Time, he said that a work ethic is something all parents need to instil in their children.

“I think it's down to the parents to put that into their young children — and to make sure that they have a family value and a get up and go work ethic,” he told host Kate Thornton.

Read more: Wareing pleads with Brits top support UK restaurants

At just 11, Wareing was working for his father in his fruit and vegetable business, packing potatoes and helping with deliveries. It’s a training he’s grateful for – especially when he entered the tough world of restaurants.

Listen: Marcus Wareing talks about what is was really like working with Gordon Ramsay

“My father taught me a work ethic and how to stand on your feet for 15 hours a day was not an issue for me,” he exclaimed.

“We worked some serious, long hours when I worked with my dad. I was just a trained worker at whatever I did.”

The Masterchef Professional recalled when he first moved to London to work at The Savoy. Despite struggling to settle in, he was determined to make it work so as not to disappoint his father.

Read more: One in six children may never catch up after Covid school closures

“I was really home-sick, and it took me years to get over leaving Southport,” he admitted.

“But my father would never let me come back to Southport. Whenever I used to speak to him on the phone, it was: ‘Don't you ever think about coming back here because there's nothing in this town for you. You're in the best place. Stick with it.’ That was it.”

Marcus married Jane in 2000 and the couple have three children together (Image: Getty Images)
Marcus married Jane in 2000 and the couple have three children together (Image: Getty Images)

His strong work ethic is something he's keen to pass onto his own children and he believes that this period of homeschooling — where Wareing said he never thought he’d hear his kids say they miss school — will help change children for the better.

“I know one thing when my kids go back to school, they'll go back a little bit wiser, a little bit stronger and they'll go back with a completely different view on their schooling and appreciation for their schooling,” he told Thornton.

Read more: Marcus Wareing warns 'our industry is on the verge of collapse'

He continued: “I hope it's a game changer. Our children will certainly talk about it, but I hope it is it changes the world moving forward in so many ways.”

As well as encouraging a strong work ethic in his three kids, Wareing also wants them to appreciate what they have. His eldest son Jake, who is studying at Durham University, has been working in a food bank – and he’s keen for all his children to give back to others.

“I did say — and I really mean this — don't do for your degree. Do it because it means something, because it is about giving back. I do it all the time and may not go work in a food bank every day, but I do things for charity. It's all done in different forms, but the charitable work has to begin somewhere.”

Hear Marcus Wareing talk about how he hopes the government will help restaurants get back on track in the latest episode of White Wine Question Time. Listen now on Apple Podcasts, acast and Spotify.

Watch: Top tips on how to help children navigate lockdown