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Monday, 4 May 2015

Michel Roux's Service programme. Episode eight - welling up now.

I tend to watch TV programmes on BBC iplayer and always head toward the food category to see what I would enjoy catching up on. Well, for whatever reason I missed Michel Roux's Service eight part series when it first went live in 2011 so I was intrigued to see how the young candidates would fair in the challenge. Michel Roux's Service saw Michel attempting to train eight young people all of which had never considered a career in front of house, high class waiting on or in the role of sommelier.

Michel Roux

None of these roles are easy in a live restaurant situation and require huge amounts of passion and knowledge, engaging personalities and commitment to the industry. After the second episode one of the eight, a very sarcastic and immature young man, was removed from the show and this left Ashley, Nikita, Brooke, Tom, James, Danielle and Nicky to continue the journey to the highest levels of service finishing at Michel's own restaurant Michelin starred restaurant Le Gavroche.

Most of them admitted, en route, that the road was hard going because of their own attitudes, wavering self beliefs, inexperience and nerves. But when they did well and started to realise their potential through Michel, Fred and other supportive industry professionals, and their faces lit up in proud beaming smiles, those were the moments worth savouring from the programme. Plus they were starting to enjoy the work and in some cases got great personal fulfilment out of their achievements. I couldn't wait for the each next episode to appear on BBC iplayer especially episode eight - the last in the series.

Ashley, James and Danielle became the eventual winners of the scholarships offered by Michel Roux Jnr and as I sat glued to the last of a very enjoyable and educational series I was moved to tears by young Ashley's reaction. Here was a young man who initially had very little confidence in himself, self confessedly angry at the world in the beginning now winning one of the two prized Front of House scholarships. He was welling up with tears of pride at his achievements and so was I. It just showed that with some application, mentoring and self belief that this young man from a council estate in Leeds could do well.

I don't know what the original candidates are doing now but whatever route they have taken the Michel Roux's Service programme has opened their eyes and minds to their potential as human beings. What a great programme. Oops welling up again!

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