The second episode of the channel four series Kitchen Impossible didn’t disappoint, with a splendid mix of passion, empathy and determination on display. Michel Roux Jr continued to skilfully and patiently train the group, all facing their own personal challenges before setting foot in the kitchen. This week once again Michel Roux Jr was determined to show that ‘people with disabilities are employable’.
Left pretty much to their own devices, Michel wanted the group to “Grasp that nettle and take responsibility” so it was the job of 17 year old Head Chef Sam, whose favourite possession is his frying pan, to lead. Sam’s challenge was to deliver serving 30 paying customers with a three course dinner prepared from scratch. A job that he’s really looking forward to. Sophie, who like Sam suffers from Tourette’s, is determined to “shine like a diamond in the sky”.
Sam is eloquent at times and as head chef quickly earns respect from the rest of the team. This week Dan, who not only has his disability to deal with, having lost his sight through diabetes, this week his arm is in plaster following an accident at home, but don’t think that this stands in his way – he is awesome as second in command slicing grapes to perfection!
Jack who works as a kitchen porter two shifts a week and thinks that Michel Roux Junior is a ‘handsome, good looking, top diamond geezer that probably uses a top microwave’, reveals he has ambitions one day to open his own business and pay his staff £255 million. Today he is front of house for the first time, taking orders.
Michel, who admits that the process can be ‘frustrating beyond words’ not being able to step in and help, is keen for them to ‘rise to the occasion’ and ‘nail it’ as he watches the two front of house ladies, Amelie and Sophie race to get the table ready in time for their guests.
With a menu of cheesy starter, prawn risotto and macaroons to prepare, cook and serve progress is slow and Sam starts to panic, but against the odds the table is set and the starters are ready in time. Disaster then strikes and tears flow when Michel discovers that the prawns have been left out of the fridge too long and are unable to be served. ‘Never in 100 years did I think it would be this hard’ Michel explains as he goes on to present this as another learning opportunity and having taken time to explain what has gone wrong, leads the group to face the customers as a team to explain and apologise……and so straight on to dessert. ‘If they fail, I fail’ he declares with the degree of true compassion that we have come to expect from him.
If the final two episodes are as heart-warming and engaging as the first two we would once again encourage all readers to afford themselves the privilege of watching – Thursdays 9pm on Channel 4.