The chef with no name 24 January 2020 How James Cochran lost the rights to his own name, and his triumphant comeback with Islington restaurant 12:51
In this week's issue... The chef with no name How James Cochran lost the rights to his own name, and his triumphant comeback with Islington restaurant 12:51
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michael moore july 2008 star of the month

24 July 2008
michael moore july 2008 star of the month

July's Star of the Month is Michael Moore, lift attendant at Claridge's hotel in Mayfair, London, where he has worked for 35 years. He was nominated by the hotel's public relations manager Neil Penlington, and spoke to Kerstin Kühn about winning the award

Caterer Why did you nominate Michael?

Neil Penlington Michael started to work at the hotel in 1973 and was a luggage porter for 28 years before taking on his current position as the lift attendant seven years ago. He has helped so many celebrities - including Charlie Chaplin, John Wayne, Brad Pitt, Richard Nixon and Madonna - over the years and, of course, with Claridge's traditional discretion all their secrets have been safe with him. Michael has shown enormous dedication to the hotel and all our guests, not just the famous ones, and he's a familiar face they all seek out whenever they return to Claridge's. Individuals like Michael have helped to build our reputation for exceptional service over the years.

Caterer How do you feel having won the award?

Michael Moore I feel tremendous - it's been one of the best days of my life. I was called up and when I came out of the lift there was a table with a bottle of Champagne and the hotel's general manager, head concierge and head waiter were there waiting for me and eventually told me that I had won this award. I had no idea so it's a great surprise and I feel very proud.

Caterer Why do you think you were nominated?

MM Probably because of my sense of humour. I love to chat with people and to introduce myself to all of the guests. Everyone remembers me and comes to say hello to me when they return to the hotel.

Caterer What has been your biggest highlight in your job?

MM Meeting so many celebrities has been the biggest highlight for me. I've met Aristotle Onassis, Jackie Kennedy, the King and Queen of Spain, the King of Greece and the prime minister of Mauritius, who invited my wife and me to come and stay on the island, which was an amazing holiday.

Caterer Do you have any funny anecdotes?

MM One Saturday I was in the lift with Bing Crosby and when the doors opened the actor Raymond Burr [famous for Perry Mason and Ironside] was standing there. They chatted for about 10 minutes until I had to excuse myself to get back to work. Another time I carried a trunk to Bob Hope's room and after I'd put it down he gave me a $1 bill as a tip. He said: "Now don't go spending that all at once." I just thanked him and carried on with my work.

Caterer What will you do with the £500 prize money?

MM I'll use it to take my wife away for a weekend and we'll go and stay at a nice hotel somewhere in the countryside.

To nominate someone for this award, visit www.caterersearch.com/starofthemonth

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