News Masterchef The Professionals Final: Five facts about Monica Galetti

How much do we really know about Michel Roux Jr’s right hand woman?

Tequila time: harvesting agave in Mexico

Food Miles: Breaks where the heat isn’t just in the kitchen

The season of eating, drinking and making merry is upon us and that might even apply if you’ve jetted off on a sun-drenched winter break. Travellers are particularly well served by the rise of food-themed breaks, tours and packages, celebrity chef hotel residencies and cookery courses. 

Nigel Slater has been voted the UK’s favourite celebrity chef BBC

Prosecco, chorizo and Nigel Slater – what’s on Britain’s menu

The nation has a new favourite celebrity chef and more of us are cooking from scratch

Andy Murray buys £1.8m luxury hotel in Scotland

His brother Jamie married Colombian bride Alejandra Gutierrez at the venue in 2010

Credo: Monica Galetti, 37, chef

'Watching myself on TV, I cringe; it makes me feel sick'

Last Night's TV: Michel Roux's Service/BBC2<br />May the Best House Win/ITV1

For a lot of people who work front of house in the catering industry there's a reason it's called "waiting". They're waiting for someone to offer them a better job, whether it's on stage or screen, or just somewhere where your income isn't subject to the capricious generosity of your customers. But for Michel Roux Jr, chef-patron of the Michelin-starred Le Gavroche, waiting on tables isn't an economic stop-gap on the way to celebrity, it's a route to fame in itself. The eight young trainees he'd assembled to take part in Michel Roux's Service, he told us, could be "stars of the future" and the trade they were being trained in a key to great privileges. "Wonderful locations, great experiences, beautiful palaces, that is what this career can give you," he assured them. At every one of which, you'll have the opportunity to be treated like dirt by merchant bankers, I muttered at home, finding it a little difficult to get into the spirit of the thing.

At your service: Michel Roux Jr shares the secrets of Britain&rsquo;s top restaurants

No matter how fancy the food, a meal in a top-class restaurant can be ruined if the front-of-house staff aren't up to scratch. And in a new BBC series, three-starred chef Michel Roux Jr will teach a group of trainees exactly what that means

My Secret Life: Monica Galetti, chef, 35

My parents were ... very strict when I was younger. They were disciplined with homework, you had to do it straight away, and they were always striving to get the best out of me. Now, I appreciate that; at the time, you just think mum and dad are mean!

Stay the night: Greywalls, Gullane

Intimate Edwardian country charm comes with the latest modern luxuries, says Minty Clinch

Roux at Parliament Square RICS, Parliament Square, London SW1

There are tough times ahead, but Roux at Parliament Square is more classy coalition than culinary compromise

What to serve when the finest chefs in Britain come for dinner

Waterside Inn celebrates Michelin success with 25-course meal for culinary royalty

My Life In Travel: Michel Roux Jr, chef and TV presenter

'I love taking a canoe down the River Ard&egrave;che'

How do you make children eat healthily? Lock them in

School meals tsar wants children kept away from fast-food outlets

You Ask The Christmas Food And Drink Questions

Michel Roux Jr answers your Christmas Food and Drink questions including: What can I do with a surfeit of goose fat? Where do you stand on sausages in bacon? And what&rsquo;s a &lsquo;coherent plate of food&rsquo;?

Making lunch for a legend: John Walsh meets Albert Roux

It was an offer no foodie could refuse &ndash; to cook in the kitchen of Albert Roux. Could John Walsh's bavette steak pass muster with this titan of haute cuisine?

Just desserts as Wareing takes top pudding award

When Marcus Wareing became a chef he decided that his favourite childhood pudding made by his Lancastrian grandmother Emily was worth recreating for paying diners.

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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own