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News & Views Itihaas features in BBC series

Restaurant loses appeal to retain rooftop smoking terrace

Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux’s recent series for BBC Two focused on the art of waiting at table, and one of the participants in the series was Birmingham’s Itihaas restaurant, which helped to train eight young people to become front-of-house stars.

As the trainees progressed in the series, they learned the skills required to lead the service in some of Europe’s best restaurants and discovered that working front-of-house is a brilliant career in its own right. After eight intensive weeks three candidates were awarded scholarships, including placements at some top restaurants.

Danielle Meenagh, 18, a former hair- dresser, won the sommelier scholar- ship, while the maitre d’ scholarships went to university graduate James Marvin and previously unemployed Ashley Flay.

Itihaas was approached by BBC Two to feature on the show and Raj Rana, chief executive, said he had no hesitation in agreeing to participate, as he strongly believes young people should consider hospitality as a career. “It was a plea- sure for Itihaas to be part of the BBC Two series and I believe the message it sent out to people was a really positive one,” Raj Rana says.

A curry restaurant in the Cambridgeshire village of Chatteris has lost an appeal against a plan- ning order to close a smoking area created on its roof. Fenland Council began enforcement action which was halted pending an appeal but now a Government inspector has backed the council’s refusal to allow it to stay.

In his ruling the inspector said that the open nature of the roof would enable customers to be seen by neighbours thus compromising their privacy. As a result it would continue to have a harmful effect on the living conditions at neighbour- ing residential properties.



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The inspector added: “The extensive area set aside for smoking, aided by the provision of tables and chairs, is likely to encourage and accom- modate numerous people wish- ing to linger on the roof on warm evenings. This is likely to generate noise, which would cause additional harmful disturbance to the nearby residents.” The inspector also said a wooden fence surrounding the area looked ‘alien and uncharacter- istic’ in a conservation area.

March 2011

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