The first episode of Michel Roux’s Service aired on the BBC last night.
Over the coming nights, chef Michel Jr will attempt to transform a motley bunch of yoofs into passable waiters. Fred Sirieix, restaurant manager at the Hilton Park Lane’s Galvin at Windows restaurant, plays Robin to his Batman. It’s already clear that our Dynamic Duo has its work cut out. The only qualification their pupils seemed able to muster was Ashley’s Asbo – though it became clear that if a GCSE in swearing existed they’d all be A-students.
The show had its amusing moments – Nikita offering diners a glass of prosciutto while they perused the menu; members of the team making up non-existent table numbers – but its underlining message was a sobering one: Too many youngsters have been let down by our education system, and are left on the cusp of adult life lacking even the most basic social and communications skills.
At the end of the first episode, Twitter burst into life as thousands of hospitality workers voiced their support of a show which is sure to give much-needed profile to the unsung heroes that work front of house. Among those who tweeted was chef John Benson Smith, who called the show “the first constructive Catering TV programme for 35 years”.
What did you think of the show? How would you define service standards in the UK currently? What can we do to encourage more youngsters to consider service as a career of choice?
Most importantly, who will win one of the two Academy of Food and Wine Service scholarships up for grabs?