A chef has been given the opportunity to cook alongside TV celebrity chef James Tanner at his new pop-up restaurant at Royal Ascot.
Paul Docherty, 31, has been given the opportunity to work at the Queen Anne kitchen this week at the presitigious event with is popular with the Royal Family.
He is working alongside an five colleagues who have all been recruited from Sodexo’s Chefs’ scholarship programme.
The 18-month Chefs’ Scholarship programme, which is run by Sodexo’s Tom Allen and is hosted by Independents by Sodexo, is designed to help develop the next generation of chefs, providing an opportunity to develop essential skills and grow within the business.
Paul, who is from Peterlee, is working at the world-famous races, bringing James Tanner’s signature menu to life, which includes dishes such as steak burgers, slow cooked lamb shoulders and Yaki Udon.
After completing a catering course at his local college, the North East born chef has gone on to work in various gastropubs, as a contract caterer and as a baker creating cakes for special occasions.
Among his other achievements, Paul has also had the opportunity to work at Henley Royal Regatta as a chef in the Rous Kitchen.
Paul said: “I’m really looking forward to working alongside James Tanner and the team at Royal Ascot.
“This will definitely be up there as one of the most memorable and prestigious places I’ve had the privilege to work at.”
Tom Allen, executive development chef, said: “At Independents by Sodexo we are passionate about developing our chefs at all levels.
“We have an amazing team at Royal Ascot this year, with each one working relentlessly to make sure the kitchen runs as smoothly as possible.
“The six chefs working alongside James Tanner are from the scholarship programme, ranging from junior apprentices to sous chef.”
James Tanner is best known for co-owning the Tanners Restaurant in Plymouth and cooking on various TV programmes.
He has appeared on the BBC cookery programme Ready Steady Cook and more recently the ITV Breakfast programme Lorraine, among a range of TV appearances.
The Queen took taken part in the traditional Royal Ascot carriage procession yesterday after completing her dash from the State Opening of Parliament.
But missing was the Duke of Edinburgh, who was admitted to hospital as a precaution after falling ill with an infection.
Philip was due to join the Queen at Westminster, but the Prince of Wales accompanied her instead.
Veteran MP Dennis Skinner saw the funny side of the Queen’s diary predicament, and in his traditional heckle ahead of the Queen’s speech joked that MPs and Black Rod should hurry up so she could make the first race at Royal Ascot. Mr Skinner brought laughter to the house when he quipped: “Get your skates on, the first race is half past two.”