July 24 2014 Latest news:
Janine Rasiah, Senior Reporter
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Former Masterchef judge Alexis Gauthier gave a budding teenage chef a once in a lifetime master class.
Forest Gate community school student Brandon Walsh spent a day learning the ropes with the Michelin star chef at his Soho restuarant, Gauthier.
The 16-year-old got the chance to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the superstar French chef - peeling asparagus and washing vegetables for the lunch service - having won a MasterChef style competion at his school earlier this year.
Brandon admits that he was nervous but greatly enjoyed the experience while Gauthier suggested that his young protege had every chance of gaining a place in his kitcken.
“All this is a different world to the one I am used to so I didn’t know what to expect,” Brandon said.
“Everyone was really nice to me. I sort of expected it to be a bit like Gordon Ramsey - all shouting and that - but everyone was properly nice.”
Brandon and his mum, Vicky, were also treated to a three-course meal in the restaurant, which costs from £80 per person.
Gauthier, who has also starred on Saturday Morning Kitchen, agreed to open up his kitchen in order to encourage youngsters from poorer backgrounds to get involved in the industry.
Gauthier said: “Brandon really impressed me. My philosophy is hey, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, you are all equal.
“It gives confidence and then they realise they can achieve anything.”
Brandon’s home economics teacher, Nick Shapland, who is friends with the chef, organised the competition.
“This contest has really brought out a creative side in Brandon, which is fantastic to see,” he said.