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 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker