Produced in Kent Logo
MP golf 4

19th May 2021

From Golfer to Chef

As things to begin to reopen we are excited to see customers old and new at our restaurant again. We are also excited by the news that the 149th Open Championship at Royal St. Georges will take place in July. Exactly how many golfing fans will get to attend is still unknown but things are much more positive than the start of the year.

I am especially excited by some golfing news of my own – I have a place to play in the pre qualifying tournament at Princes Golf Club, Sandwich on Sunday 27th of June!

Before I settled down to life as a chef I was fortunate enough to have a career in Golf. I have almost made it to the Open before – twice as a player and twice as a Caddie, I just missed out… but now as a restaurant owner I can finally be part of the Open.

We were polishing the special Open edition glasses, tasting the special Open limited edition Loch Lomond whisky brought in by Nick from Drinks warehouse when Boris uttered those immortal words “From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction - you must stay at home”.

Now over a year on I stand here outside my restaurant wind blowing gently but firmly in my face looking directly across the Bay to those wonderful links of Sandwich. Sandwich Bay is unique in the World, as it has no less than 3 British Open Championship Links courses within it and all 3 have hosted The Open.

Royal Cinque Posts was the venue of The Opens of 1909 and 1920. It was due to host The Opens of 1938 and 1949, but on both occasions the course was flooded. These tournaments were moved along the Kent coast to Royal St George’s.

Prince’s held The Open in 1932. Gene Sarazen wining with the use of a club he had designed himself to cope with this particular course – a sand wedge.

Royal St. Georges of course needs no Introduction the first Links to be used outside Scotland for hosting the Open was most recently won in 2011 with Darren Clarke landing a much-deserved first major. Notable Winners in the other 13 Open Championships held at St. Georges include Walter Hagen, Henry Cotton, Greg Norman and Sandy Lyle

A Links is a stripe of undulating, sandy (having usually been reclaimed from the ocean) terrain linking the sea and the arable farmland around the edges of the British Isles. As it often went unused, save for the odd sheep or three, these narrow corridors of gorse-covered, sandy dunes had fairways carved out of them and golf as we know it began.

The view I had across Sandwich Bay used to be the reverse of that I have now…as a young boy I was often to be found either competitively or just for fun on these 3 famous links courses nurturing dreams of winning the Open - I don’t think that I ever had a putt that wasn’t to win the Open nor a birdie that didn’t take me to the top of the leader board!

The reality was a little different and although I had many wonderful highlights in my 35 year career as a professional golfer travelling the world I never even got to play in The Open let alone win it.

The excitement however remains the same….

Travelling along the roads parallel to Manston ridge you can already see the Grandstands, the famous huge yellow scoreboards and now that the cooling towers are gone this view over the beautiful Kent Countryside has to be one of the most scintillating in existence.

The hustle and bustle may be a little different this year but we hope to welcome many visitors to Kent. I remember my father’s restaurant Pierre’s being booked out quite literally the year before for this week of all weeks.

1981 was my favourite local Open an unknown Texan called Bill Rogers eventually won it but what a week I had…My school had broken up for the holidays just the week before leaving me contentedly roaming the hallowed fairways by day and working in my father’s kitchen by night.

Oh the excitement of a busy restaurant packed to the rafters with professional golfers, journalists and visitors – was I actually going to cook something for one of my heroes?

Golfers back then were already on high protein and carbohydrate rich diet regimes (Golfers are actually a lot fitter than most people want to believe). Pasta, steaks, lobster etc were flying out and that wasn’t going to help me as I was on cold starters!

Dad believed in using fresh local products, a tradition I continue today, and I loved to go with him to PWDs Butchers & Johnsons Fishmongers, the images of the pheasants and rabbits hanging in the streets remain unforgettable.

Pierre’s was in Cliftonville on the Northdown Road and what an International high class Mecca of Diversity it was…………. you had Spanish tailors and restaurants, Italian Fishmongers, coffee bars and restaurants, Swiss patisseries, German hairdressers, not to mention Jewish grocers!

Then finally it happened “Check on.. Table 6” sitting with his usual entourage was Roger Davies a dapper Australian golfing superstar with dashing good looks and he had ordered a cold starter!!

The starter of “Scampi ala Sinatra” was way ahead of its time pan-fried scampi served on a bed of globe artichoke hearts and dressed with a refreshing lime, soy & chilli dressing. Was my dish going to contribute to a magnificent score at The Open?

So distracted was I that whilst carefully placing Zucchini Tempura (Dads restaurant was way ahead of its time) I didn’t notice that my fingertips were actually in the oil happily frying at 176 degrees celsius!!

Now The 149th Open Championship, the greatest Golf Tournament in the World returns to Kent and we will be ready, as the unique stockists UK wide of previous Open Champions Sir Nick Faldo and Oosthuizens wines I am sure that we will be welcoming friends old and new to Marc-Pierre’s Kitchen in July.

Who knows I might just give dads scampi a re-run in the hope it can contribute this time to a famous vctory, this time for me in the qualifiers!

Marc Pierres

Marc Pierres

97ce0ba6 5427 47bb 9c3a 5c5eaa946f8b

Marc-Pierre's Kitchen

At Marc-Pierre's Kitchen, we hope you really love our take on classic dishes with a sprinkling of fusion flair. All Marc-Pierre's Kitchen dishes are freshly prepared on the premises every day.