I gave as good as I got as Marco turned up heat.
But when it came to turning up the heat on his new channel five show, the fiery Yorkshireman met his match ... in Liverpool restaurateur Rosaria Crolla.
Rosaria and head chef Maurizio Pellegrini, who own Italian Club and Italian Club Fish on Bold Street, are amongst the latest contestants to board the 'battle bus' in tonight's episode of Marco Pierre White's Kitchen Wars.
They took the challenge to create a dish in 30 minutes - black squid ink tagliolini with clams, cherry tomatoes and wild mushrooms - and impress the demanding chef with their partnership.
But Rosaria admits that, while it was obviously tough for Maurizio cooking under pressure in a mobile kitchen in Liverpool One, it was made doubly difficult having Marco in the mix.
"He has a huge presence, he's physically quite imposing and he is extremely intimidating in his manner," she tells Insider. "He was into everything, but Maurizio was very unfazed by him and quite a natural in front of the cameras - if anything it was me who was more nervous.
"But actually once I got out there and they started filming I decided I was just going to be me and I was lucky because I think that worked.
"He does have that ability to make you feel like a schoolgirl, though, and he tries very hard to unsettle you. But when he started digging at Maurizio it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. I thought, back off big man!" Rosaria and Maurizio have been a team in and out of the kitchen since she helped recruit him from Italy to work in her cousin's restaurant, Il Forno, seven years ago.
"We instantly disliked each other," she jokes, "but then our friendship grew, although we do argue all the time.
That's just what we do - I'll annoy him about every aspect of a recipe until I make him give in to me, and then it turns out he was right all along."
Rosaria can't reveal how the couple did on the programme, but she says she enjoyed every minute of the experience. "And I came away with a great respect and affection for Marco ... despite the fact he tried everything to make us hate him."
TEAM: Rosaria Crolla and Maurizio Pellegrini IMPOSING: Marco Pierre White