York College

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3rd November 2015

Sam, a former York College hospitality student featured in Kitchen Impossible with Michel Roux Jr, a Channel 4 series with the Michelin starred chef. The series followed eight people with disabilities on an intensive four week catering course under the guidance of Michel Roux Jr. Their goal was to find employment in the food industry.

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The trainees were taught valuable skills to help them reach their full potential in preparation for employment in the restaurant business. Their disabilities ranged from Tourette's syndrome to blindness and from autism to Down's syndrome. Michel Roux Jr gave the novice chefs and waiters the skills, confidence and experience they need to break into the industry.  The television series focussed on effort, learning and awareness.

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Sam, aged 18, was one of two trainees in the programme with Tourette’s.  Sam left York College this year having studied Patisserie & Confectionary and Professional Cookery. He said being involved in the Channel 4 series helped to further enhance his hospitality skills: “I learnt so much during the filming of the series, it was a wonderful opportunity. The great news is that I now have a full time job at the Grand Hotel and Spa Hotel in York, as a commis chef, which I am extremely happy with. I can’t forget my tutors at York College – they were a massive help to me, I wouldn't be where I am today without them.”

The Grand’s Head Chef, Craig Atchinson, paid tribute to his latest recruit saying: “Sam has demonstrated to everyone that you have to look beyond someone’s disability and see the person beyond. He is a fantastic asset in our team here at The Grand and has earnt his place on merit. He has fast become a popular member of staff and helps to produce stunning dishes enjoyed by diners in Hudson’s restaurant.”


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