Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

Sir Alan Sugar hires Yasmina Siadatan as new Apprentice

Sir Alan's Apprentice winner: Yasmina Siadatan
Sir Alan's Apprentice winner: Yasmina Siadatan
Yasmina Siadatan and Kate Walsh

Restaurant owner Yasmina Siadatan won a job with Sir Alan Sugar in last night’s shock final of The Apprentice in which Northern Ireland man Ben Clarke made a return appearance.

The 27-year-old Londoner was hired by Sir Alan on what she described as the businessman’s “gut instinct” despite rival Kate Walsh being in a good position to win.

Ms Siadatan said her achievements combined with her mistakes during the series may have given her the crucial edge over Ms Walsh.

In the final episode, the finalists were given a task to create a new brand of chocolates which they had to pitch to a roomful of industry experts, including Waitrose’s chief buyer.

Ms Walsh and her team, which was made up of former contestants Belfast man Ben Clarke, Debra Barr, Kimberley Davis and Rocky Andrews, designed a box of chocolates for couples.

Their box was made up of three ‘shelves’ — one for her, one for him, and one to share. The concept was praised by Sir Alan but he said charging £13 for a box was not commercially viable.

Ms Siadatan’s team, made up of Howard Ebison, Philip Taylor, James McQuillan and Lorraine Tighe, created a brand called ‘Cocoa Electric’ which was designed to ‘shock’ with flavours such as basil and strawberry, and popping candy chilli.

Sir Alan told her the branding and pricing were excellent but the taste — which even caused one model to spit out a chocolate after filming the advert — needed work.

Asked how she felt to have won the coveted job, Ms Siadatan said: “I can't believe it, I am in shock. All those months ago you first apply to try to get on, and here I am, it's amazing.”

On beating Ms Walsh, who had performed well during the series, Ms Siadatan said the mistakes she had made during the series — which included confusing the gross profit with the net profit of her restaurant on her CV — may have endeared her to Sir Alan.

She said: “I don't feel like I've beaten Kate because I feel we both deserved that job, and we feel we just had different qualities and Sir Alan needed my qualities over hers.

“(Sir Alan) described it in a nutshell when he said: ‘I can't put it into words why I chose Yasmina — it was just a gut instinct’, and I think because of the way that I performed, even though I made some quite serious errors as we've seen, I was also able to show him that I exceeded in certain areas. The profit I made in the catering task was the biggest profit he's ever seen on an Apprentice task.

“Maybe I've shown him that even though I've got this real confidence and real strength in some areas, I've also got a side of me that is slightly insecure and slightly unsure and I will make mistakes. But without that side to you I don't think you can ever really excel and succeed.”

Ms Siadatan is now looking forward to starting work with Sir Alan, even though the job is a world away from her restaurant Mya Lacarte in Caversham.



James the joker?

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Leo:

You're eager to explore various educational options. It's not necessary to study something related to your career. It may be preferable to take a course for fun. Learning how to make furniture, clothes or jewellery could appeal to your creative side. You have a definite point of view that should be expressed. Unlike most people, you don't have to fish around for ideas. They automatically flow from you like water coming out of a tap. Cultivate your artistic side.More