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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game