Wine Uncorked: My guide to the world of wine
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Etura came to London from Valladolid in north-west Spain in 2007 to learn English, intending only to stay for a year. He got a job in the first Barrafina as a glass polisher, became a waiter a year after that, and nine months later was a manager. Now 35 and the top man front of house, he has had to devise a philosophy of the queue. “You need to be a psychologist,” he says. “You need to understand different sorts of people, that a banker is not the same as an 18-year-old student.” When people have queued, you have to work 10 times harder for them, because they have huge expectations
If a customer is drunk and is touching a member of staff inappropriately, if they are using foul language or if their behaviour becomes threatening, then that is unacceptable. I was born in food. My dad used to say: “We don’t have much money and we don’t have fancy cars, but we always have good food in the fridge and on the table.” My parents would buy fillet steaks, foie gras, oysters, lobster; they love good quality food. Every day we had a three-course meal: starter, main and dessert and cheese before dessert. Every single day. Three years ago, Thompson’s daughter, Daphne, was born; Thompson took 11 months maternity leave and then returned to Scott’s part-time. Again, this is “unconventional” in hospitality, which demands long, antisocial hours. Thompson gives credit to Caring for being open to the idea and she hopes that her experience will be helpful to other women in a similar position. “Yeah, I’m definitely flying the working-mum flag,” she says. “I didn’t want to pretend it was going to be OK and then totally crash and burn. Hopefully I’ve proved the fact that it is possible.”bighospitality.co.uk. "Fred Sirieix leaves Galvin at Windows". bighospitality.co.uk . Retrieved 21 February 2020. I’ve lived in England longer than I lived in France. I’ve been here for 30 years and I’m 49. And I still sound like this, right? As much as you can take me out of France, you can’t take France out of me.
The greatest chef I have ever worked with is … well, I’m not sure he’s the greatest, though he is great. But I loved working with Michel Roux Jnr, simply because he is a kind man. And you see, that’s what I remember. Talk about talent and all those things, I’m not interested in that. Everybody can cook an egg. I can cook an egg! But somebody who’s kind, for me, that’s the most important thing. I’m happy and proud that my daughter was at the Olympics [she finished seventh in the 10m diving]. But I’m more happy that she’s kind.A great restaurant is as much about the service as the food. It’s about the smile when you arrive, the way you’re seated at your table, the glass of your favourite wine appearing as if by magic. Nothing is too much trouble. The art of perfect service may seem effortless but what’s really going on behind the scenes…? In 2019, he hosted the CBBC series Step Up to the Plate with Allegra McEvedy where they tested 8 young people in each episode to see if they had the skills to run their own restaurant.  A second series was broadcast in 2021. 
They share their match-making secrets: from breaking the ice to dealing with surprises and getting to grips with the rules of attraction, along with all the toe-curling moments and across-the-table triumphs as couples seek to find The One. She goes on: “Some of our best customer relationships have been conceived in a moment of awfulness where somebody has complained. That’s your opportunity then. That’s something you’ve got to build on. It’s about taking ownership, being on the front foot, and smiling and communicating. All basic principles but oft forgotten in restaurants.”She was not a natural as a waitress and only lasted six months. “I’d like to take the opportunity to apologise to all the customers I served,” she says. Glennon did, however, excel at remembering customers, chatting to them about the plays they’d just seen, and was shifted to the position of assistant maître d. At the time, J Sheekey was owned by Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, the men behind the Ivy and Le Caprice. Although Corbin and King would soon move on – selling the business to Richard Caring, Glennon’s current boss – she learned lessons that she still finds useful 18 years on. As for not being too interested in food, this, too, can work to her advantage. “There’s lots of people who do love food,” she says, smiling. “But there’s a lot of people who eat out who don’t. And I know how to translate to that whole section: ‘Don’t worry, I feel the same myself…’” ‘There’s no queue jumping – not even if you are the owner’s parents’