John thanks UCB training for stellar career at Mandarin Oriental

October 2016

Former UCB trainee chef John Barber, who is now second in command at one of London’s most prestigious restaurants, returned to Birmingham today to meet current students.

The 26-year-old delivered a masterclass in fine dining at UCB, proving why he is now Executive Sous Chef at Bar Boulud in Knightsbridge, owned by the prestigious Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

He joined the company’s two-year training programme back in 2009 and has rapidly risen through the ranks.

John, a former pupil at The Friary School in Lichfield, studied Professional Cookery at Level 1, 2, and 3 at UCB before going on to work at the Old School House in Weeford and The Belfry.

He said moving to London was “scary at first” but urged students to be brave and “find a way to make it work.”

Joining John was Tomas Kubart, maître d’ of Bar Boulud, who landed a job at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group at the age of 16 and has been working for them ever since.

He explained the importance of being consistent and maintaining high standards. He added: “Everything needs to be perfect all the time when you work for the Mandarin Oriental, which prepares you for whatever you face next in this industry.” 

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