What can I say, but what a fabulous close to such an excellent series? I am referring of course to the wonderful Michel Roux’s Service. Which came to a close last night with a little twist at the end of the tale: Michel didn’t hand out the two apprenticeships as he promised. He produced three!
Those winners being: Danielle, James and Ashley
Danielle Meenagh – who is just 19 – won the sommelier scholarship with the Hotel du Vin group in Winchester.
James Marvin – 24 – is now under Fred’s wing at Galvin at Windows.
Ashley Flay – now 21 – is working front of house at The Hyatt Regency in Mayfair.
Personally, I thought that Brooke was going to be one of the winners so I was very pleased to hear Fred offer her a place at his restaurant. Her choice words of acceptance were brilliant – but if you missed them you’ll have to wait for the repeats or go to iPlayer to find out what she said.
It was clear from the noise on the internet that Ashley was a very popular choice. Ashley, who left school at 14 with no qualifications save for an anti-social behaviour order, was initially ill at ease and out of his depth. However, you could see during a scene at the country hotel in Dartmoor that this guy was a winner: Michel Roux was left speechless and could only nod in agreement as Ashley gave a passionate speech to Nikkita imploring that she needed to change her limiting beliefs.
The thing is, up and down this country there are thousands of guys like Ashley. We just need to get to them, coach them, train them, and unlock their true potential.
To quote Michel Roux:
Ashley has epitomized exactly what this training is all about. He has proved to me and to everybody that it is possible.
So, where do we go from here? Well, I know Fred has some interesting plans up his sleeve so follow him on Twitter (he is @fredsirieix1) to find out more.
Finally – Fred, I promise I’ll book a table very soon!