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Covent Garden chef invites Centrepoint to his restaurant to train homeless people to be chefs, as he says people on their 'second chance' work harder

Helena Horton
Greg Marchand said it can be fulfilling to help people on their

A Michelin-starred chef  has invited Centrepoint to his Covent Garden restaurant to help train the homeless to be chefs as he argues people who are given a second chance are often more loyal and work harder.

Greg Marchand, who runs the restaurant Frenchie in central London, said that restaurateurs like him should be given support from charities and the government to train ex-criminals and the homeless to work in their businesses in order to solve the chef shortage.

He told The Telegraph:  "I think we should all have a second chance in life, no matter what we have done.

"When you give people a second chance they are very loyal and they work hard and it's very fulfilling. People can change."

Mr Marchand said that with the right support, chefs like him would be able to train up people to do the job relatively easily because "it's manual work anyway. The only thing you need to come with is the right attitude."

He has been cooking since he was a teenager growing up in an orphanage, and swiftly became Jamie Oliver's protege when he came to London from Paris. The chef mentored people from diverse backgrounds at Mr Oliver's now-closed training school and restaurant Fifteen.

The chef thinks it is a great shame that scheme closed earlier this year, and said: "Since Fifteen closed there aren't many places anymore that give people a second chance. There should be more. The job is not enough, you need to be able to give them support. That's what Fifteen did. You need to go a little further in helping someone get out of whatever mess he put himself in."

He has called on charities and the government to help, adding: "Maybe associations should work with employers. We did one thing at Frenchie with Centre Point, we worked with some people and trying to motivate some of the kids there, they went through a homeless time and it was tough for them. 

"The government should promote the manual jobs, and cooking is one of them. We need to do a big job of making people to become chefs. It needs to be valued more."

Mr Marchand added: "We aren't experts in social work but we can give people a job. There should be a coalition."