My steamy memories of Marco
Marco Pierre White not only picked up the tab for old flame Helena Frith Powell’s book launch, the moody chef broke with tradition and turned up to the shindig at his restaurant, Frankie’s.
Marco confesses to an unrequited teenage crush on the writer and, learning he was the inspiration for a character in her romance Love In A Warm Climate, felt bound to attend.
Mother-of-three Helena, 40, tells me: ‘There is an intimate scene based on something that happened in the kitchen of Marco’s first restaurant, Harveys.
‘We had the most amazing snog. I was very young and Marco was madly in love with me. It was the most passionate kiss.’
Years later, while researching her book in LA, Helena started receiving odd phone calls. ‘I thought I had a stalker,’ she told me at the Knightsbridge bash.
‘I had no idea who this person was who kept phoning.
‘Eventually he said: “Hello, do you know who I am? I once took you to see Desperately Seeking Susan in Oxford.” I knew then it was Marco.’