Porthmadog’s Michael John has taught some of the world’s biggest stars to cook including Stormzy, Kylie Minogue and David Beckham.

The former Coleg Menai student is head tutor at Raymond Blanc’s Cookery School, having worked with him since leaving college 17 years ago.

While studying NVQ Level 3 Professional Food Preparation and Cookery, Michael completed a two-day trial at world-renowned hotel Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, where Raymond has trained more than 40 Michelin-star chefs.

He impressed, and has worked there ever since, “teaching people from all walks of life”.

Michael said: “The courses are based on Raymond’s books, teaching people things they can cook at home.

“You may teach the same thing a couple of days in a row, but it’s always different because the audience is different. I love it.

“It’s something I love to do, share as much knowledge as I can, and that’s what Raymond is like. It’s about training and nurturing, developing people and watching them grow.”

Michael has worked with Raymond on TV shows including The Restaurant, Kitchen Secrets, Saturday Kitchen, and Sunday Brunch.

“Raymond is amazing. He’s one of the most demanding people I’ve ever worked with, but also the best boss I’ve ever had or will have. He’s very caring, and even now he just wants to improve on the things we’re doing every day.”

Michael previously worked at Poachers in Criccieth, the Pen y Bryn in Colwyn Bay and Michelin-star hotel The Chester Grosvenor. He took part in competitions at Venue Cymru in Llandudno, entered Chez Dudley on S4C, and enjoyed work experience trips to Italy and France, which inspired him to work with cuisines from other cultures.

Michael says the skills he learned at college gave him the foundation to succeed when faced with the daunting prospect of working for one of the world’s most accomplished chefs.

“When I came to Le Manoir for a trial, the first day was working with Raymond in the cookery school, which was scary.

“They wanted someone in the school very quickly, but said they’d hold on for me for six weeks while I finished college.

“You don’t realise it when you’re there, but it’s the foundation you get at college that’s so crucial. Without that base I wouldn’t have been able to come here and do what I did.

To feature in First Person email [email protected].