Today I met with , a charming restaurant manager at at Hotel. Passionate about promoting our great Hospitality profession, he reminds me of – Surely a “ collaboration waiting to happen!

Nestle Toque d’Or 2018:

Since it began Toque d’Or has gained recognition from the industry and education alike, evolving from a pioneering cookery contest into one of the UK’s most influential training and development initiativesThroughout the years, Toque d’Or has used real life challenges to showcase the breadth of career opportunities the hospitality industry has to offer and inspire the next generation of talent. It is this passion and commitment towards hospitality excellence that makes Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or so unique.

 We attended a spectacular lunch at The Gherkin where all the students finalists were tested. All I can say is that they have great talent and are the future of our trade. Their enthusiasm and innovative skills were hugely appreciated by all the diners.
Nestle Professional Toque d’Or 2017
I was lucky to be sitting next to Camila Cabral, Strategic Parnerships and Events Planning Lead at Nestlé, and Chris Herlihy, General Manager of Billingsgates Seafood School and Julia Sibley from the Savoy Educational Trust.
Camila Cabral
Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or began in 1989 and since then has evolved significantly to become one of the UK’s most prestigious catering competitions. Being part of this competition can change a student’s career, with the industry recognising that Toque d’Or students have demonstrated true passion and commitment.
Toque d’Or 2017
This year we have partnered with Footprint® to ensure that Toque d’Or 2017 supports industry trends related to our theme ‘Great Food, Great Life’ through the topics of nutrition, health and wellness and sustainability.
Footprint is the leading source of information on responsible business and sustainability for the foodservice, hospitality and grocery retail supply chains. Their objectives include enabling businesses to operate more sustainably and responsibly whilst enjoying greater commercial and reputational success.
Prizes Along The Way
Winning the prestigious Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or and being one of a select number of colleges to have achieved this distinction is an accolade in itself. Toque d’Or recognises the efforts of those competing by awarding prizes at each stage of the competition.
Colleges who have teams in the heats and finals will benefit from equipment from the Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or equipment fund. Students taking the online entry will receive a Toque d’Or gift. Those going on to the heats and finals will receive commemorative uniforms and equipment.

Nestle Toque d’Or Competition Diner at Le Cordon Bleu School

Main course: Lamb with hash…
Chris Herlihy and John Howarth and Darren Chapman
We discussed and enjoyed every dishes cooked by the students and even chatted about potential future partnership regarding a potential competition using an unusual product: Bourtagua! Watch this space…


I offered to Camila a day trip to meet “The Front of House man”, Denis Courtiade, Restaurant Director and President  of “O Service des Talents de Demain” and “Un Oeil en Salle” at The Plaza Athenee in Paris so that she can see and how we can work together to learn from one another

Shunde Hospitality Delegation from China came for dinner at Skills-Republic Headquarters with Michel Escoffier as guest speaker… I served them a fish soup and a boeuf Bourguignon followed by a British cheese board!


As for the dessert, it had to be… a crepe Suzette!

World City Link Visit to Marseille

We had the pleasure to look after our friends from World City Link in our Marseille Training centre. From olive oil tastings to wine and cheese matching sessions, we cooked some amazing monkfish from Marseille fish market. All with the sun in the blue clear sky!


A Day in Liverpool: Economy Week 2017IMG_4570

What an amazing day in Liverpool! Lunch at 30 James Street (Signature Living), this was the original name given to the Home of the Titanic by Bruce Ismay in 1896. It is an opulent Titanic themed hotel in the former White Star Line headquarters, with a fine dining restaurant and a Spa. Dinner was as exciting …

Dinner was as exciting thanks to the crowd of young students and guests including chef Patron of the Art School, Paul Askew! What an inspirational and passionate speech.

Visitor Economy Week 2017. Dinner prepared, cooked and served by Hospitality and catering students of St Helen’s, Wirral Met, City of Liverpool, Hugh Baird, Knowsley Community, Riverside and Southport Colleges. Fantastic Collaboration and Achievement! (Sue Kenyon, PACE Executive Director)

Training the “Murder On the Orient Express” crew!!! 

How lucky was I???

Following an email from my ex HR director from Gordon Ramsay (who had been told I had set up my own training company), I was asked to train all the actors on the film set: barmen, chefs, waiters, room attendant, anyone who would be offering service to the guests of the famous Orient Express!!!  What I did not know was that I was going to be working directly under Kenneth Branagh as he was Hercule Poirot and the film director too!

For a few months I worked in the studio with all film producers, cameramen and actors that many people who have dreamt to meet!

Guess what: I loved it! and: there is a sequel to the film: Death on The Nile… of course….

Death on the Nile (2019)

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