Monday, May 12, 2008

The early bird catches the chicken

Some of you may remember a blog I wrote about a month ago about a banker friend caught in the credit crunch and fearful for his job. His solution to his impending unemployment was to spend a year learning the poulet roti trade in France. After that he planned to return to London and conquer the city with his new chicken van. I’ve had to contact him twice since about his idea.

The first time to inform him that a TV company had read my blog and was interested in shadowing his experiences and again this week to inform him that he had competition.
Yes, apparently my mate is not as mad as I thought, because it turns out there is another person who has had exactly the same idea. What’s more Phoebe is a step ahead of my friend - who has yet to get the sack and is still prevaricating about whether his future lies in chickens.

While he sits in his offices, his competition is plotting how to become the Walmart of the poulet roti business. She is to be seen sitting on a little stool in Lourmarin market, learning from the doyens of the roti world - Barbara and Christophe. She has a little notebook and takes down the spices they use on the skins of the bird. So involved is she in her project that when I visited all I could see were her ankles sticking out from the undercarriage of the van - it turns out she was drawing a diagram for a mechanic back in the UK so that he could customise her truck.

Until now I thought that one only did stages/placements at big city firms, which tend to throw open their doors to budding students every year, but when I asked the legs dangling from underneath the van, exactly what she was doing, she declared in a very serious voice that she was on a month long stage.

So when the poulet roti business explodes in the UK, remember you heard it here first. And also remember that there is nothing like the original and come and taste one of Barbara’s chickens.

1 comment:

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