Michelin stars, living on cereal and my toddler’s taste for pickled onions

Another week has flown by and it's Sunday again. Not just any Sunday, though: Father's Day. My three children - Jake, nine, Archie, six, and three-year-old Jessie - did me proud with breakfast in bed and a pile of presents.

It's fascinating for me, as someone who spends his life surrounded by food, to see how adventurous my children are. Jake will try anything, partly out of a desire to please his dad but also from a real interest in flavours. He doesn't like the texture of mushrooms, but he keeps trying just in case. Archie used to be more fussy, but suddenly he is trying more - smoked salmon is now his favourite food. Jessie would rather spend the day grazing, but for a toddler she likes fairly unusual flavours: pickled onions, olives and feta cheese.

They certainly eat better than I did as a child; I used to love our Sunday dinners, but my dad's roast beef was shite. It was always overcooked.

Holy carrots
I've just launched a new restaurant, The Gilbert Scott in St Pancras Station. It's very different from Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley - we're not aiming for Michelin stars here (keeping two is hard enough work). But I believe every ingredient is important; I ask my chefs to treat a carrot with the same respect as foie gras.

When I stopped working for Gordon Ramsay after 15 years - amid some lurid headlines - there was a tide of good feeling when I relaunched Pétrus as The Berkeley. In the dining room, everything continued as before, and we were able to make changes gradually.

It hasn't been such smooth sailing this time round, but I think the new restaurant is finding its feet after mixed reviews in the media. It's reassuring that the feedback from diners has been consistently positive.

The interesting thing is that Twitter and food blogs mean that newspaper and magazine critics aren't quite the terror they once were. Ten years ago, a bad review could close a restaurant.

Yester-me, yester-you, yesterday
Talking of Gordon, I'm often asked how things are between us. I think his current problems are a real shame, because it could have been fantastic for ever - a generation of chefs, including me, learned a huge amount from Gordon and he supported me in opening Pétrus. We built the restaurants in his empire together. I'm at peace with Gordon - we're not friends, but we've both moved on.

Mind your language
In the middle of the week, I took a very encouraging call from Michel Roux Sr, of the three-Michelin-starred Waterside Inn in Bray. The Rouxs are an amazing food dynasty: I trained at Le Gavroche in London with Michel's brother, Albert, and it was a baptism of fire. At the age of 19, I was given a week to learn a section from one of the chefs there, and because it was a French restaurant, he refused to speak English. I didn't speak a word of French. Luckily, I realised I just needed a few gestures and a lot of common sense.

Pizza to the rescue
Being a chef isn't a job; it's a way of life. During the week, I get up at 6.45am and rarely get to bed before 1.30am. Although The Berkeley's menu includes lobster, foie gras, sea bass and suckling pig, when I'm at home I scavenge whatever I can find in the fridge, or just eat cereals. I used to have a cup of tea every night but I have realised it makes more sense to go to bed. At the weekend we try to eat as a family at least once: Pizza Express is a hit with the kids.

Step into this century
At the weekend my wife, Jane, was eager for me to see how well the kids' swimming had developed, so off I went to my sons' swimming gala. Although I am thrilled by the opportunities they have - I think I learned on my own in the local pool - I worry we might be putting too much pressure on children. My kids' social lives are better than mine, and they're all very tech-savvy: my three-year-old even knows her way round an iPad.
Social media are still uncharted territory for me, but I can see this is the way that things are heading and that we have to embrace it. We have just started testing a Samsung tablet computer at The Berkeley - it holds our entire wine list. We still keep the (very large) book version, and most guests like our step into the 21st century. Personally, I love it, as it gives the opportunity to search by region, price and flavour - whatever you like.

Savouring the legacy
The year has flown by and I am looking forward to not one, but two holidays: a family trip to France and a weekend in Cornwall with friends. I'll be visiting a restaurant called Number 6 in Padstow. Its chef, Paul Ainsworth, worked for me at Pétrus some years ago - I thought he was a very talented young chef with a huge personality even then. When he left a few years ago to set up his own place, I always said: "It's too soon, you are too young." But look at him now!

It makes me feel very proud and perhaps a little old - I'm 41 on 29 June - when I see these youngsters doing so well.

Northern lights
Once a week we have an operations meeting at The Berkeley. I have never seen anyone as inspired by ingredients as our head chef, James Knappett, who has returned to us after stints at Per Se in New York and Noma in Copenhagen. He's always in the kitchen by 8am and greets everyone with a handshake.

We offer five seasonal menus in the restaurant - à la carte, lunch and three tasting menus - plus more in the private room, so there's always plenty to discuss.

Noma was voted best in the world by Restaurant magazine this year and last, so it was a great honour to host its head chef, René Redzepi, for dinner. Everything at Noma is inventive, clean and crisp - such well-thought-out food. There is always something to learn.

Marcus Wareing is chef-patron of The Berkeley in Knightsbridge. Details: marcus-wareing.com

This article first appeared in the 27 June 2011 issue of the New Statesman, The food issue