MasterChef judge in ‘bullying’ row

Marcus Wareing has been accused of bullying by a former coworker (Picture: Getty Images)

A renowned chef has accused Marcus Wareing of bullying him during their early years in the kitchen, leading him to quit his job.

Ben Tish, a celebrated cookbook author and veteran of several Michelin-starred establishments, shared his experiences on the Go-To food podcast, revealing that his stint with Wareing at L’Oranger in the mid-90s was the only job he ever walked out on.

At the time, Wareing, now 53, was rapidly ascending the culinary ladder, having earned L’Oranger a Michelin star by the age of 25.

Tish, now 49, recounted the challenging atmosphere he endured under Wareing’s leadership, describing it as rife with ‘one-upmanship’ and ‘bullying,’ which even sometimes got physical.

‘It was really one-upmanship and kind of bullying,’ Tish said. ‘I’d say a little bit of physical pushing.’

The toxic environment eventually became too much for Tish, who recalled a pivotal moment of confrontation.

‘I worked for him for seven or eight months and I ended up walking out. It’s the only place I’ve ever walked out of,’ he said. ‘I was meant to be in one day and then just didn’t go in. I was just so over it.’

Tish revealed the story on a recent podcast episode (Picture: Go-To food podcast)
Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti, Gregg Wallace are currently on the show (Picture: BBC /Shine TV)

In his conversation with podcast hosts Ben Benton and Freddy Clode, Tish detailed the buildup to his departure, noting that Wareing was ever-present and demanding in the kitchen. ‘He was there every day, cooking and on the pass,’ Tish explained.

Despite the difficulties, Tish found solace in his camaraderie with fellow chef Angela Hartnett, who was a sous chef at the time. ‘Angela was lovely. I used to have a coffee with her in the afternoon,’ he fondly recalled.

When Tish finally decided to leave, he informed Wareing, who responded harshly. ‘I said to him, “I’m going to leave,” and he said: “Well, if you can’t make it at my level then you might as well just hang up your apron and bugger off back to Skegness.”‘

Tish said there was even some physical pushing (Picture: Steve Meddle/Shutterstock)

Wareing has yet to respond to Tish’s allegations.

However, he has previously addressed his reputation for being tough in the kitchen. In a 2015 interview with MailOnline, Wareing admitted, ‘If someone cuts a corner in my kitchen I turn into Mr Shouty, but I’m always fair. I can be very relaxed.’

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